Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Air travel is rebounding in Iowa but not quite back to pre-COVID levels

(Radio Iowa) - The number of travelers at Iowa airports is rebounding from the impact of the pandemic, but is not yet back to normal. Just over 92,000 people boarded flights at the Des Moines International Airport last month, about 70% of the number of passengers compared to 2019. Airport spokeswoman Kayla Kovarna says those numbers are likely to improve this month as airlines add flights to more destinations.

"Not only do we have more aircraft operating here in the month of June than we had last month," she says, "but we're also seeing upgauges in aircraft, which means bigger aircraft with more seats."

The number of people boarding flights in Des Moines rose 30-percent from April to May, and this month, the numbers are looking even better.

"So June 1st through June 10th, we’re at about 80 percent of June 2019 pre-pandemic levels," she says, which would put Des Moines ahead of the national trend.

Kovarna says travelers should keep in mind that Des Moines and other airports are still under a federal mask requirement that is set to last into September. She says airlines are also requiring masks on flights to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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