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The economic impact COVID-19 is having on the air travel industry

Posted at 6:04 AM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 11:27:03-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — By now you've probably heard the warnings. The CDC and AAA are both saying families should stay home this year due to COVID cases steadily rising. Let's take a look at the economic impact this could have.

The holiday season is a big moneymaker for travel companies, but this year, due to a COVID-19 resurgence, our airports and airlines could be missing out on the millions they usually rake in. Experts say if there is traffic more than likely you'll see in on our roadways, the closer we get to Thanksgiving.

Airlines' passenger revenue is estimated to plunge by 55% from 2019, According to the International Air Transport Association. Job losses in the travel industry could reach more than 100 million this year. Officials with the Colorado Springs Airport said they have been seeing a steady increase in the number of people traveling since the start of the pandemic. From June to July travel was up 155 percent, but this holiday season, the airport is expecting a 50 percent drop in travelers.

"What we've seen with travelers is this wait-and-see approach," said Jeanette McGee, a spokeswoman for AAA. "They have plans to travel, but they may not follow through with those plans because they see what's going on in the environment around them."

The good news is the travel industry has partially recovered from the early days of the pandemic. Experts say a vaccine is the only thing that will bring travel back to its pre-pandemic days.

However, the reality of travel may be different as people want to see family or get out of their homes. So we'd like to know, are you traveling for Thanksgiving this year?