U.S. screens highest number of air passengers since 2019

FILE PHOTO: Travelers wait at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, U.S., April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Transportation Security Administration screened 2.658 million passengers on Thursday, the highest number since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as U.S. holiday travel got off to a smooth start.

“So far so good,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNBC on Friday. Despite the record travel Thursday “the system held up quite well,” Buttigieg added noting less than 1% of flights were canceled Thursday.

The number of passengers screened Thursday was the highest for a single day since November 2019.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated more than 51,000 flights would take place Thursday, the highest number during the seven-day Memorial Day travel period. The FAA estimates that there will be about 4.5% more flights during the period versus 2022 but slightly less than 2019.

Airlines are in many cases operating larger planes today as they have trimmed flights — especially in New York — to smooth operations.


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