Airlines and TSA report 96% drop in air travel as coronavirus pandemic continues

The number of people traveling by plane has dropped by about 96% amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple metrics.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 6:52 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 7:06 PM

The number of people traveling by plane has dropped by about 96% amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple metrics.

On Wednesday, Transportation Security Administration officers screened just shy of 95,000 people at airport checkpoints, a dramatic drop from the 2.3 million who passed through on the equivalent day in 2019. The numbers are at a 10-year low, according to the agency.

The drop in passengers and orders across much of the country to stay at home have caused airlines to cut 71% of their capacity, according to Airlines for America, an industry group that represents carriers such as American, Delta, Southwest and United.

Only about one in every 10 seats on the US domestic planes that do fly are occupied, the group says.

On the limited number of international flights that are operating, about one in five seats are occupied, it says.

With fewer flights, airlines need fewer planes. US airlines currently have about 1,800 planes, or 1,500 more than in December, parked, representing about 30% of the fleet.

The stark numbers are similar worldwide.

At the beginning of the year, about 111,000 commercial flights were operated daily, according to Airlines for America. In the most recent week, it said there were only 31,000 flights.

The International Air Transport Association, which represents nearly 300 airlines worldwide, says it expects airlines to burn through $60 billion in cash this quarter. The largest slide of that will be in refunds owed to customers, it said.

US regulators recently directed airlines under their auspices to refund customers in cash, rather than credit, after it reported a spike in customer complaints.

The passenger airlines are also currently awaiting their first payments from a $25 billion federal fund meant to help them meet payroll. They are also awaiting details on how to apply for another $25 billion in loans.

Several US regional airlines have been forced to suspend operations or close because of the dramatic drop in bookings.

RELATED: JetBlue to consolidate number of airports it serves

The Federal Aviation Administration says employees at 38 of its air traffic control facilities have tested positive for the virus, prompting altered operations and cleanings. Most recently, it said employees in Orlando and Newark tested positive.

At TSA checkpoints, officers now wear masks and -- in some cases -- face shields. The agency says 327 employees have tested positive for the virus and two have died. The agency has closed some checkpoints due to inadequate staffing, according to an aviation official familiar with the matter. Airlines have also seen employees fall ill; about 100 American Airlines flight attendants have contracted Covid-19, according to their union.

TSA employees at the Dulles airport outside Washington, DC, also created a food pantry for their colleagues in the aviation world.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
Harrison354046
DeKalb351365
Montgomery349754
Knox337839
Miami325244
Steuben315846
Whitley313126
Wabash306951
Adams303636
Ripley301646
Putnam299152
Huntington295760
Jasper293035
White275943
Daviess271776
Jefferson267738
Decatur249983
Fayette249949
Greene242763
Posey241828
Wells237551
LaGrange230363
Scott227939
Clay225032
Randolph215848
Jennings200937
Spencer193622
Sullivan193633
Washington189023
Fountain185227
Starke177044
Jay168723
Owen168338
Fulton165430
Orange161035
Carroll160616
Rush156418
Perry156129
Vermillion150034
Franklin149933
Tipton134433
Parke13098
Pike118826
Blackford112023
Pulaski97937
Newton92621
Brown88835
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin75013
Warren6867
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 872918

Reported Deaths: 10856
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102616707
Cuyahoga868931154
Hamilton65148455
Montgomery43662420
Summit35411766
Lucas31794634
Butler31451232
Stark26247445
Warren19939144
Lorain19378229
Mahoning17561339
Lake16350161
Clermont16235113
Delaware1463881
Licking13453142
Fairfield1301782
Trumbull12980317
Greene12226144
Medina11798169
Clark11094266
Wood10507158
Allen10031128
Portage9514111
Richland9275134
Miami927273
Marion7512113
Tuscarawas7455186
Columbiana7433124
Pickaway735250
Muskingum714042
Wayne7140172
Erie6253130
Ross5589100
Hancock556292
Scioto545365
Geauga518955
Darke474395
Lawrence464658
Union459130
Ashtabula457973
Sandusky440462
Huron435541
Mercer435590
Seneca435366
Auglaize425166
Belmont423948
Jefferson423969
Shelby422923
Washington396340
Athens38619
Putnam379276
Madison359930
Knox358423
Ashland349638
Fulton341744
Defiance336188
Crawford327274
Preble323637
Brown318821
Logan314835
Ottawa297443
Clinton293944
Highland282219
Williams282267
Jackson266145
Guernsey259326
Champaign254628
Fayette241030
Morrow23594
Perry235518
Holmes227274
Henry222954
Hardin217033
Coshocton208023
Van Wert204445
Gallia200126
Wyandot198151
Pike180918
Adams179815
Hocking174024
Carroll158216
Paulding145521
Noble121040
Meigs110324
Monroe103433
Harrison89821
Morgan84531
Vinton71714
Unassigned00
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