Removal of Covid Testing Requirements for International Travel Should Boost Demand

Removal of Covid Testing Requirements for International Travel Should Boost Demand

by Jim Corridore , Senior Analyst 3 Min.
June 14, 2022 | Updated August 1, 2022

Starting June 12, international arrivals no longer need to provide a negative Covid test to enter the United States. This should help boost international travel demand, eliminating a major hassle factor and gateway to transatlantic and transpacific flying. Similarweb data shows that international demand is already strong, and this new rule should help boost demand further.

Key takeaways 

  • Similarweb data shows that international demand for travel in Europe is already spiking, with traffic to Delta, United, and American Airlines up 338% in Europe from the pandemic low in September 2020 to May 2022
  • New rule likely boosts international travel demand, which still lags domestic travel in the United States
  • However, rising fares, geopolitical uncertainty, and sporadic Covid spikes will likely keep a full return to pre-pandemic levels off for a while to come

U.S. Airlines Seeing Spike in Web Traffic in Europe — A Good Sign for Demand

Similarweb data on monthly visitors to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines in Europe should be a good proxy for air travel demand into the U.S. from Europe. Web visits have to be made in advance of travel, so it is also likely a leading indicator of future demand. As the chart below highlights, web traffic in Europe to these three companies’ sites has spiked and is above pre-pandemic levels. From trough to peak, visits spiked 338%, and year-over-year (May 2022 versus May 2021), visits were up 207%.

chart 1 covid airline report


The pace of growth has improved over the past three months

The below chart shows the pace of growth through the pandemic and the recent acceleration of monthly traffic growth in Europe among the three largest U.S. Airlines. According to Similarweb estimates, monthly visits in May 2022 rose 12% over April, while April was up 13% over March and March was 32% higher than February. We would expect the new rule of Covid testing to help accelerate growth in the coming months, all else being equal.

chart 2 Europe Covid airline report


United Airlines leading the pack in U.S. Air Travel to/from Europe

Taking a look at total monthly visits in 2022 (through May) to each of the three largest U.S. airlines’ web pages in May 2022, you can see that United captures the market share lead in Europe, followed by Delta, with American lagging. United has said that it is adding more capacity in international markets in 2022 than prior to the pandemic, so it seems likely that its market share in Europe could continue to grow versus these two peers.


market share international travel



Airline demand is already past pre-pandemic levels and is likely to see acceleration for international travel in the coming months, aided by the removal of Covid testing requirements for international arrivals in the U.S. High inflation, rising airfare, pilot shortages and increasing cancellations represent industry risks.

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Report By: Jim Corridor, Senior Insights Manager


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