ST. LOUIS – Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Missouri, the number of people traveling is rising at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.
However, it is not back to normal for summertime.
While flyers are still down 75 percent compared to this time last year, there’s been a 25 percent increase in flyers since the highest impact from COVID-19.
Usually, summer is peak season for travel.
“It’s a ghost town,” said St. Louis resident and frequent traveler Trista Isenberg.
However, St. Louis Lambert International Airport Public Information Officer Will Becker said there is hope on the horizon.
Isenberg said she has been on several flights since the COVID-19 outbreak starting impacting St. Louis. She said she has noticed a slight uptick in passengers recently.
“We bottomed out in April and May, we were down about 95% of our normal traffic,” he said. On Sunday, he said, “We had about 14,000 who passed through the airport, which put us at about 75% down of where we were at last year.”
“I think the flights are actually more filled now then they were maybe even a couple of weeks ago,” Isenberg said.
Becker said booking are up and airlines are starting to schedule more flights and increase flight traffic.
“By the time we reach mid-August we’ll be about 10 flights above where we were before COVID,” Becker added.
Becker said the airport received nearly 60 million dollars in federal funding, but there are still long term impacts expected
“There will definitely be revenue impacts, we’ve postponed some projects, about $20-$25 million.”
Becker said the airport is also continuing to take extra precaution to fight against COVID-19.
Masks are not required in the airport, but there are enhanced cleaning procedures.
“We’re cleaning on a regular basis, we’re going over those touch points to make sure they get cleaned multiple times a day, so that’s handrails, elevator buttons,” Becker said.
There are still several restaurants inside the airport that are closed due to the decrease in flyers, but Becker said as more people hop on flights, the restaurants will start to reopen.