LONDON, 3 July 2020: A rebound is underway in the domestic
aviation in the US, and one of the high spots was the 4 July long weekend that
marks American Independence Day, says ForwardKeys, a travel analytics company.

An analysis of new flight tickets issued between the start
of the year and mid-June shows that the market bottomed out during the first
week of April. From then, there has been a steady climb, reaching 42% of 2019
levels during the third week of June.

Closer analysis, by type of tickets issued, shows that the
recovery is being driven much more strongly by leisure bookings, which have
substantially outpaced business bookings since the collapse in the market in
early March.

As of 23 June, the number of new US domestic air tickets
issued for travel between 20 June and 18 July, a fortnight before and a
fortnight after the Independence Day holiday, were 55.8% behind the equivalent
period last year. However, bookings for the start of the Independence Day
weekend were just 16.9% behind the same day in 2019.

A likely reason why this year’s Independence Day travel
bookings are relatively less badly affected could be attributed to the 4 July
falling on a Saturday. Consequently, the public holiday begins a day earlier on
Friday 3 July, a day in lieu that gives holidaymakers a long weekend without
having to take time off work.

Economists are expected to pay careful attention to signs of
recovery in the aviation sector, because domestic tourism represented 4.5% of
the US economy in 2019 – a trillion-dollar industry, according to the World
Travel & Tourism Council.

ForwardKeys VP Insights, Olivier Ponti said: “It’s inspiring
to observe that a rebound is underway; and that Independence Day is the
high-water mark. However, a major unknown is how the COVID-19 outbreak will
progress and how significantly the latest spikes could arrest the recovery in
flight bookings.”