Major airlines offer flash sales, capitalizing on increasing travel demand

Delta and Southwest airlines issued lower fares on tickets booked by April 8

Some of the country's leading airlines are offering up flash sales for spring and summer travel in an effort to capitalize on the increasing number of Americans eager to take to the skies. 

Two carriers, Delta and Southwest airlines, issued lower fares on tickets booked by April 8 for the upcoming travel months all while demand for the industry rebounds from the devastating effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

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For Southwest, customers are able to nab a one-way ticket for as low as $49 for trips booked through the end of May. 

Likewise, Delta is offering Seattle flyers discounts up to 50% off for certain tickets for travel dates through the beginning of June.  

In recent weeks, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reported a steady increase in passenger volume at airports across the nation, offering a bit of relief for the battered industry. 

Although there is "still a long way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels," according to spokesperson Lisa Farbstein, more than 1 million people have passed through checkpoints each day for nearly a month.  

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The increasing numbers coincide with widespread efforts to inoculate Americans. In fact, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the county gave Delta CEO Ed Bastian hope that travel demand will continue to climb. 

"Our outlook for the spring and summer travel season continues to improve amid strong signs that consumer confidence in travel is returning," Bastian said last month in a memo to employees. 

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly also issued an upbeat forecast, saying the airline could break even by June, "where you have had much of the population vaccinated."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 49.27 -0.54 -1.08%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 63.42 -0.04 -0.06%

SOUTHWEST RECALLS MORE THAN 200 PILOTS AS TRAVEL DEMAND PICKS UP

In a regulatory filing, Southwest also projected that March and April will be better than expected as passenger traffic and fares rise. The airline said people are booking leisure trips to beach and mountain destinations but business travel is still lagging.

However, with vaccination efforts still underway, health officials have repeated concerns that travel will spread the virus and have warned of a potential fourth wave of COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.