While airports around the country are seeing numerous flights canceled, Reagan National Airport is set to have more originating passenger flights for the first month of 2022.
Reagan National Airport is predicted to see a 2% increase in passenger flights in January, compared to a 12% national decline, according to Airlines for America. The airport will have slightly more originating passenger flights in January than it saw during the same month of 2019, before COVID-19.
The increase of flights at Reagan National Airport does not reflect current passenger counts to and from Washington, D.C., as they continue to be below pre-pandemic numbers. However, airlines are required to use their allotted takeoff and landing slots at airports — or risk losing them.
Airlines for America data demonstrated that leisure-focused airlines are the airlines expected to increase flights across the nation for the first quarter of 2022.
Allegiant Air’s capacity is expected to be up 34% from two years ago, while Frontier Airlines's will increase 29% and Spirit Airlines's will increase 27%. In contrast, the nation’s four largest airlines are anticipating limited capacity, with American Airlines decreasing 6.3%, Southwest Airlines down 7.1%, United Airlines dropping 10.4%, and Delta Air Lines falling 15.3%.
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Recently, airlines have canceled and delayed flights amid staffing shortages and concerns about COVID-19. An estimated 2,600 flights were canceled by Thursday morning, with nearly 1,100 of them occurring within, flying into, or departing the United States, according to FlightAware.