More than a million people passed through airport checkpoints on Sunday, the first time the Transportation Security Administration has screened that many people since mid-March.
While that represents a symbolic milestone for the travel industry, U.S. airlines are still losing billions of dollars a month as they brace for much weaker demand for tickets this winter. The number of people screened by the T.S.A. on Sunday was down about 60 percent compared with the same day a year ago.
Last week, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines both said that operating revenue in the three months through September had fallen nearly 80 percent compared with last year. That period spanned much of the summer, which is typically the busiest season for airlines. Corporate travel typically sustains them in the fall, but many large businesses have been cautious about returning to normal operations and have told their employees to work from home until next July.
The steep decline in travel has forced airlines to cut to the bone, tweaking every part of the business as they hope to capitalize on what little demand remains. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are expected to release similarly dismal third-quarter financial results this week.
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