Thursday Beats Out Friday To Set A Pandemic-Era Record

US passengers are coming back ahead of the summer. This past week highlights the returning nature of leisure…

Thursday Beats Out Friday To Set A Pandemic-Era Record

US passengers are coming back ahead of the summer. This past week highlights the returning nature of leisure travelers. However, as a good sign for the summer, Thursday, May 13th, beat out Friday, May 14th for daily travel numbers. This has broken the trend since the start of the crisis of Friday peak days beating out Thursdays on non-holiday weekends.

More passengers took a flight on Thursday, May 13th than on Friday, the 14th. Photo: Getty Images

Thursday beats out Friday

On Thursday, May 13th, 1,743,515 passengers passed through a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening checkpoint. This was higher than Friday, May 14th, which logged 1,716,561 passengers passing through a security checkpoint screening.

This has broken the pandemic-era trend of leisure travelers focusing travel around the weekends. Fridays and Sundays are usually peak days, with Thursdays and Mondays also coming out with higher passenger levels. This emphasizes the trends of leisure travelers seizing on the weekends to maximize getaways.

However, this Thursday is different. It is not the lead-up to a major holiday, nor was it a mid-week holiday. Instead, it was what would have seemed like an ordinary Thursday.

Passengers Getty
US airlines are gearing up for the summer, and current evidence points towards it being a good one. Photo: Getty Images

Is business travel coming back?

It may seem that this could be a sign of business travel coming back. Over the last few months, businesses have sent their employees back on the road, with small and medium-sized businesses coming back stronger than large corporate customers.

Another sign that business travel is coming back could be travel on Tuesday, May 11th. On that day, 1,315,493 passengers took to the skies, nearly 200,000 more passengers than the Tuesday before. May 11th came after Mother’s Day, which could explain the bump, but it is also possible that starting this week, more business travelers started to fly again.

Passengers are coming back to the skies, though leisure travelers continue to outpace business travelers. Photo: Getty Images

Are leisure travelers changing their schedules?

Leisure travelers have mostly stuck to a weekend schedule, with most people boarding flights on Fridays, and carriers oriented around these schedules have done well. However, that does not mean that all leisure travelers think alike. Remote work is still the reality for many workers in the US, giving people some flexibility to choose where they want to work.

In the earlier months of the crisis, when leisure travelers started to return, some airlines reported seeing passengers choose leisure-oriented destinations, though on business schedules. For example, passengers would take a vacation in a place like Fort Myers or Bozeman and travel during the week.

Airlines are also starting to bring back their pricing power. This means that many revenue management systems are starting to come back online. As such, some leisure travelers may have been priced out of a Friday flight and may have decided to fly on a Thursday instead.

Passengers Getty
Leisure passengers have typically hugged the weekends with their travels, though it would not be surprising for more to shop on price and take an extra day off. Photo: Getty Images

Schools are starting to end

Universities and schools are nearing the end of the academic year. Traditionally, when schools start to close for the summer, travel starts to pick up. Most schools and colleges will start to end from mid-May onwards, so this travel could be students heading home or families heading out now that children do not have to worry about missing school.

School and university holidays typically do lead to increased travel numbers. This includes Thanksgiving and the December holiday period. Other holidays, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents’ Day, have also led to increased passenger numbers in the past.

Passengers Getty
There is still room for improvement in passenger numbers. Photo: Getty Images

Could it just be a fluke?

It is also possible that this week was a fluke. A combination of all three factors plus perhaps some price management from airlines led more people to fly on Thursday over Friday. Whether or not this was a fluke but the start of a more defined trend will be observed over the coming few weeks and months. In the last few months, however, the ongoing trend of increasing passenger numbers has continued.

Nevertheless, this shows some good signs for the summer. Airlines have typically seen excellent weekend and holiday passenger numbers. However, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, passenger numbers tend to be a little lower as those days are typically business-heavy travel days.

As passengers start to come back on more days of the week, this shows good signs for airlines trying to repair loads and yields. It is important to note that, even though nearly 1.75 million passengers flew on Thursday, it does not mean that carriers earned substantial revenues from passengers booked on that day.

Did you travel on Thursday? How are you scheduling or thinking about your summer vacation plans? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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A Look At Frontier’s Southern California Expansion

Frontier Airlines announced this week a large expansion out of Southern California. The airline will officially come to…

A Look At Frontier’s Southern California Expansion

Frontier Airlines announced this week a large expansion out of Southern California. The airline will officially come to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) with three daily nonstop flights. Meanwhile, over at Ontario International Airport (ONT), Frontier will add a new service and expand an existing route.

Frontier Airlines is expanding its Southern California position. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Frontier Airlines arrives at Burbank

Starting on July 15th, Frontier Airlines will finally arrive at BUR. The airline will start with three daily nonstop flights. One each to the following destinations:

  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Josh Flyr, Vice President of Network and Operational Design at Frontier, stated the following on the new routes:

“We’re excited to add Hollywood Burbank Airport to our route map with nonstop Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix flights this summer. Frontier offers a robust flight schedule in Southern California and the addition of Burbank will provide an even more convenient and easy to use option for many in the region seeking affordable fares and friendly service to a variety of popular destinations.”

Frontier Airbus A320
Frontier Airlines is not currently flying from Burbank. Photo: Frontier Airlines

An expansion out of Ontario

Meanwhile, out of ONT, Frontier Airlines is adding a new route four times per week to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). This will bring Frontier’s overall service out of Ontario to nine destinations.

Meanwhile, Frontier is expanding service on an existing route. The airline is expanding flights between ONT and DEN to 11 weekly flights.

These flights are also targeting July launches. The new route to Atlanta will launch on July 16th. Meanwhile, the expanded services to Denver will start on July 15th.

Frontier Airbus A320
Frontier has grown its Ontario operations in the last few months. Photo: Frontier Airlines

A natural expansion of the airline’s route network

Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) is becoming a hotspot of new air services. Startup carrier, Avelo Airlines, has made Burbank its main base for now and has been operating out of the airport for over two weeks.

However, this latest expansion is not much of a swipe against Avelo. The two airlines will only be competing in the Phoenix to Burbank market. Frontier has been gradually growing its Phoenix portfolio, including adding flights to Florida and Ontario.

Burbank is an alternative airport in the Los Angeles area. Burbank is close to major tourist attractions. For those looking to visit the Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, or Universal Studios in Hollywood, this airport is a fantastic alternative for LA-area travelers looking to take in the attractions in the city’s northern parts.

Frontier Airbus A320neo
Frontier Airlines is showing it means business in Southern California. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Frontier Airlines does fly to and from the larger Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). However, the carrier only has a few flights out of LAX to a handful of destinations. LAX is far more expensive to fly in and out of than Ontario or Burbank.

Leisure travelers are coming back, and California is set to open in about a month. Frontier, which is also waiting on new aircraft, is targeting an expansion from July onwards, which will cover a large part of the summer travel season. This will also give the airline some leeway in case California delays its full reopening.

Ultimately, for fliers to or from Southern California, Frontier is giving passengers more options. The airline is naturally growing its Southern California route network and is setting itself up for growth, especially out of airports like Burbank.

Are you going to fly any of these new Frontier Airlines routes? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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