GREEN RIVER (WNE) — The Thanksgiving holiday has resulted in more people flying commercially from the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport, but the recent increase in COVID-19 infections has hampered that growth.
Airport Director Devon Brubaker said the Thanksgiving week will be the airport’s biggest week since March, with 120 bookings for the week compared to 94 the last week of October. While the number of bookings is a welcome sight for the airport’s commercial operations, Brubaker admits the growth is weaker than was originally anticipated.
“With the addition of a second flight starting (Monday) through Sunday, except for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we had expected to see a rebound to about 50% of last year’s traffic,” Brubaker said. “That is now looking more and more like it will be around a 35% rebound.”
Overall, the first three weeks of November have been weaker than October, with a 15.18% decline. Going into December, Brubaker expects commercial air travel to be weak for the first half of the month, followed by a surge in the second half of the month as people travel for Christmas.
A second flight to Denver will be added during that anticipated busy period, but Brubaker said if more COVID-19 cases are recorded and more travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods are enacted, he expects the Christmas season to be much slower than the airport originally planned for.
“While we were experiencing a net increase in bookings nearly every month since May, the net bookings are about flat due to the increased number of cancellations,” Brubaker said.