ND air travel plummets due to COVID-19 | Prairie Public Broadcasting

ND air travel plummets due to COVID-19

Apr 10, 2020

Dismal.

That’s how North Dakota Aeronautics Commission executive director Kyle Wanner describes the state of air travel in North Dakota and around the country because of COVID-19.

"We saw a 43 percent decline in the amount of passengers in March, compared to last March," Wanner said. "A 46,000 passenger drop."

Wanner said he expects a further drop into April.

"We're estimating our airports, and airports around the country, have only about 5 to 10 percent of normal passenger loads," Wanner said.

Wanner said prior to March, North Dakota’s airports were doing very well.

"It was the best February on record in North Dakota," Wanner said. "We were anticipating 2020 to be a record-breaking year for passenger numbers. That's obviously not the case any more."

Wanner said he's hopeful the airports can return to that level. But he said that will take time to ramp up.

"It's not going to be a light switch, where all of a sudden, people start traveling again," Wanner said.

Wanner said the airlines are doing a good job of working with passengers who had to cancel flights, even if they did not purchase travel insurance.