Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest statistics released from the airport – reflecting airport traffic in the month of June – show that all is not well in that regard.
In a Monday, Aug. 3 press release, airport officials reported another set of discouraging statistics. The number of passengers departing from and arriving at PTIA is down 84 percent when compared to June of last year when there was no global pandemic. Year to date – for the first half of 2020, that is – the passenger numbers were down 58 percent compared to 2019.
Cargo numbers were also significantly off from last year – with cargo flights down 34 percent in June of 2020 compared with June of 2019. Year to date, cargo flights are down 27 percent through the end of June.
Those passenger and cargo numbers are disappointing for an airport that was consistently making great strides in both categories in the years leading up to the pandemic.
In the pre-COVID-19 days, the airport would guesstimate future traffic. However, since the pandemic hit, airport authorities have stopped making predictions. With the latest numbers, the only statement on future air traffic at PTIA was this: “Due to ongoing airline schedule changes, projected flights and seats for August 2020 are not being reported here.”
Despite the negative news, the June numbers were still better than the numbers in the previous month. In May, passenger traffic at the airport was down 92 percent. At the time, PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker called the stats “pretty dismal” but he noted that they were an improvement over April when airport traffic virtually stopped on some days.
Baker said earlier in the year that he expected a gradual improvement over the rest of the year, but he made that prediction at a time when it looked like the country was getting the pandemic under control.