Washington News Bureau

Airlines expect surge in international passengers now that travel ban was dropped

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After nearly 20 months, the U.S. has lifted the travel ban for international passengers looking to visit the country and major airlines are expecting to see a surge in overseas travelers because of the changes.

United Airlines expects a 50 percent jump in inbound international passengers Monday compared to a week ago.

“United also announced plans to increase international capacity by 10% in 2022,” the company said in a statement.

Delta Airlines said it saw a more than 450 percent jump in bookings in the weeks leading up to the travel ban being lifted.

“Many international flights are expected to operate 100% full on Monday, Nov. 8, with high passenger volume throughout the following weeks,” Delta Airlines said in a statement.

The new rules announced by the federal government say that most non-U.S. citizens coming into the country will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and they must show a negative COVID-19 test from within the last three days.

Airlines like Delta and American Airlines created a digital tool for fliers to upload the documentation.

There are some exemptions for people under age 18 and people from countries with low vaccination availability.

Visitors crossing land borders in Canada and Mexico only have to show proof of vaccination but not a negative COVID-19 test.

The new rules allow for international travelers to be vaccinated by any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), not just ones approved in the U.S.