Last week (starting May 16), US passenger airlines carried 66% of pre-crisis passenger volume on 76% of the flights utilizing 89% of their fleet.

In the US, many COVID-era records for number of departures were set last week:

  • Arlines: American, United, JetBlue, Alaska, Spirit, Frontier, SkyWest, Republic, Envoy, PSA, Horizon, and GoJet.
  • Airports: ATL, LAX, ORD, DFW, DEN, JFK, SFO, SEA, MCO, EWR, BOS, and MSP.

The overall number of US passenger departures and derived load factor (TSA screenings / US pax aircraft departure) also set new records.

Notable fleet shifts since week of April 18 were mostly related to the the return of many of recently grounded MAX aircraft (see chart further below for details).

  • Southwest: -5 B737, +5 B38M
  • Delta: +6 A321
  • American: +17 B38M, +14 B738
  • United: +16 B39M, +8 B763
  • Alaska: +4 B39M

Update: Grounding Issues Grounding MAXes

Based on these numbers, it looks like the latest round of grounding issues that impacted more recent MAX deliveries are being addressed; most of the US carriers have flown their MAXes in the last week, though it looks like Southwest still has a few that haven't gotten back into the air.

Departures by Airport

If interested on an airport-by-airport breakdown, FlightAware now has an excellent interactive graph for each airport with their data; scroll to the bottom of the respective airport page to see. Here's MSP as an example.

Departures by Airline

Fleet Evolution by Airline

Nick Benson

Nick lives in Burnsville, MN with his wife and three children. He grooves on railroad and aviation photography, politics, geography, weather, and LEGO. He started JetTip's smart flight alert service in 2017, and is now a full-time avgeek. He can frequently be found atop a step ladder at MSP's Aircraft Viewing Area.