LYNCHBURG, Va. – For people across the nation, and here locally, traveling by plane has become synonymous with one word: canceled. Some airports are feeling the impact more than others.
“You know it’s troubling. It’s troubling because our passengers are our lifeline and the airline is our lifeline,” said Lynchburg airport director Andrew LaGala.
It was a difficult Tuesday for LaGala. For the first time, all flights were canceled.
“The last two and half weeks (in) March the passenger loads have significantly declined. All the way down to anywhere from 20 to 30 passengers a day,” LaGala said.
American Airlines is the only airline for the regional airport and has been canceling its flights the night before.
“American is evaluating and adjusting flights depending on the passenger loads, but they’re averaging 1 to 3 flights a day. That’s what we anticipate we’re going to have throughout the whole month of April,” LaGala said,
In comparison, it hasn’t been all that bad for Roanoke-Blacksburg regional airport.
Marketing director Brad Boettcher says traffic is down 95% but people are still flying there.
“Relative to some other airports that we’re seeing, our capacity cuts have been less than other some other peer airports we look at, so from that perspective, there’s a slight silver lining to it,” Boettcher said.
LaGala hopes to be on the other side of the pandemic recovery soon.
“It’s a little troubling, but we’ll come out this. We’ll come out of this on the other end,” LaGala said.