After some volatility in the pace of air traffic where passenger throughput surged early in the month and then quickly came back down to earth in the middle of the month, the number of Americans traveling through US airport security checkpoints has been back on the rise in recent days as the 7-day average through Sunday stood at 730,491, which is less than 50K from the peak level in early September.
While air-traffic trends are improving, relative to last year, total traffic is still down by more than two-thirds (-68.43%). In the chart below, we show the y/y change in TSA passenger throughput (blue line, left axis) to the performance of the Airline ETF (JETS). While the two haven’t tracked each other step for step, there has certainly been a link between the two. While the surge in JETS in late May/early June got ahead of itself and subsequently reversed much of those gains, as y/y traffic trends stabilized in the down 60%-70% y/y range, JETS has also stabilized in the high teens. In order for JETS to get back up to its highs from June, traffic trends will need to start seeing a material acceleration. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options for our best research available.