ROANOKE, Va. – The parking lot was packed and suitcases stuffed as holiday travelers file in and out of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Tuesday morning.
Jeff Richards was flying back home to Montana after a two-week visit to Christiansburg. He’s not worried about traveling during the pandemic.
“Everybody in my family has already had COVID-19 and we’re all through it. So this doesn’t bother me a bit,” said Richards.
Nancy Womack was flying to Florida to visit her daughter.
“I have not seen her for a year,” said Womack.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, capacity is down by 40% and the number of fliers is about 50% what it was before.
2019 saw a record number of flyers: 719,707. As of November this year: 268,334.
The airport’s director of marketing air service development, Brad Boettcher, said fewer travelers means deals to expand service to Dallas and Houston were put on hold.