Airports Lose Passengers as Travel Is Discouraged

March 27, 2020, 5:30 p.m. ·


The Lincoln Airport has seen around a 90% decrease in passengers on departing flights. Usually the airport has about 500-600 passengers boarding flights each day, but that number has gone down to around 50-60, and is expected to continue to fall. Planes are flying with as few as five to 10 passengers.

The airport has stopped their food and beverage service, and has seen decreases in car rental and the use of hotel shuttles. Parking represents a major revenue center for the airport, and it is now being used very little.

The Lincoln airport has also seen cancellation of flights, including all service to Atlanta. The number of flights per day to Denver and Chicago has decreased, and could be reduced more soon. Individual flights are also being cancelled due to COVID-19.

David Haring is executive director of the Lincoln Airport Authority. He said most employees at the airport are still working, some at the industrial park at the airport.

“In a lot of other events we can plan for, ‘Okay, here’s how we’re gonna turn everything back on, here’s where we’re going forward from there,’” Haring said. "This is such a significant uncertainty both with how things are taking place right now and how they will take place when we emerge from it. That that is something that we are constantly evaluating. Right now not everybody knows how the airlines will emerge from this."

"Delta has put out indications that they’ll emerge as a smaller airline. It could also happen with other carriers.”

Haring said the Lincoln airport is looking at multiple different paths for what things could look like after COVID-19.

The Omaha airport has also seen a decrease in passengers, from an average of 7300 departing passengers per day this time of year, to around 2100 per day last week. This week is expected to see a further decrease.

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