Reopenings: Oakland Airport Officials Brace For New Dip In Travel As COVID-19 Cases Surge
OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- While passenger traffic rebounded in June at Oakland International Airport, transportation officials said they were bracing for another drop as COVID-19 cases surge across the country.
Currently, travelers from the San Francisco Bay Area face 14-day quarantines if they travel to New York state, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Chicago.
Passenger traffic in June at Oakland International was up more than 100 percent compared with May, but demand for air travel nationwide was again showing signs of weakening.
The number flyers jumped 141 percent in June to about 255,000, compared with about 106,000 in May. While the increase was a good sign, the June total was still only 21 percent of a year ago, according to airport officials.
The lowest total so far during the pandemic has been in April, when the airport saw only 4 percent of its normal number of passengers. That number increased to 9 percent in May.
"While the June statistics are an improvement over what we experienced in April and May, activity remains far below where it should be
for the historically busy summer travel season," said Director of Aviation Bryant Francis, in a statement.
"Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases within California and nationally, we remain concerned about the fragility of the air travel market.
We remain committed to doing our part in providing a positive air travel experience through enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols," Francis added.
In July, several airlines, including Southwest, Spirit and Alaska, added flights following months of reductions related to the pandemic. But Hawaiian Airline's plans to restart daily flights to Honolulu were postponed because the state has delayed its plan to reopen its tourism economy. Traveler's to that state must quarantine for 14 days, a requirement that may be in effect until Sept. 1 and possibly longer.
Southwest Airlines' plans to increase its number of flights in August at Oakland International Airport have stalled because demand for
flights appears to be flagging again.
Southwest flew more than 75 peak-day flights in July from Oakland and were going to increase that to 90 in August or about 75 percent of itsschedule for summer 2019.
Airport officials said passengers are encouraged to check with their airlines for guidance for travel during the pandemic. Passengers are
encouraged to have a face covering on when they arrive at the airport.
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