Passenger and airline traffic plummet at DIA as coronavirus takes disastrous toll |

Passenger and airline traffic plummet at DIA as coronavirus takes disastrous toll

Kirk Mitchell, Denver Post
David Zalubowski, The Associated Press A lone passenger heads directly to the north security checkpoint in Denver International Airport as travelers stay home to fend off the spread of coronavirus Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Denver.

Airline business at Denver International Airport is spiraling downward, with hundreds of scheduled flights getting canceled daily as COVID-19 cases grow across Colorado and the U.S. Passengers have been staying away in increasing numbers, too.

Last week brought the coronavirus impact into stark relief: DIA data shows that traffic through its security checkpoints was down 64.7% compared to the same week in March 2019. The 176,166 people who passed through security didn’t include connecting passengers.

On Monday, the Transportation Security Administration said it screened 331,000 people at airport checkpoints, compared to 2.4 million people on the same date in 2019.

The two prior weeks had notched smaller declines, but a DIA spokesperson said those were likely blunted by the rush of travelers cutting trips short and heading home amid the coronavirus news.

“The impact has absolutely taken a toll on the airline industry,” said Katherine Estep, spokeswoman for Airlines for America, a trade organization. “It’s still mind-boggling how fast the coronavirus has had an impact on airlines.”

Read more via The Denver Post.

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