CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Air travel in many cases is down around 90% and the industry as a whole is set to lose about $300 billion in revenues this year.
Airport terminals remain quiet and virtually empty compared to normal.
“I flew down on Thursday. There were two other people. Two other passengers.” Nick Hinojosa said.
Those low numbers due to Coronavirus concerns are why airlines are scheduling less flights.
“There was only one option for my flight. I was very hesitant to fly but was very appreciative of how responsible the airlines have been and also the other passengers. That was a cool thing to see. How responsible everybody’s being with the PPE and sanitization and keeping distance.“ Nick Hinojosa said.
Kim Bridger-Hunt, the marketing manager for Corpus Christi International Airport, says they have seen a slight increase since last month.
“If you look back to mid and the latter part of April, we reached kind of an all time low of about 50 people getting on airplanes every day. Right now we are seeing that increase very slightly to around 100 to 125 a day." she said. “It’s always a good sign to start to see traffic trickle up a little bit."
But those numbers are very low compared to the same period in 2019.
"It’s more than 90% lower. And that’s really what you’re seeing nationwide.“
Big changes are coming to the aviation industry as airlines are demanding their passengers wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of airlines including Delta and United will require everyone on board their aircrafts to wear face coverings beginning May 4.
Other airlines including American and Southwest are following suit, implementing their face mask policy on May 11.
Travelers like Hinojosa have decided to wear face masks even before the new policies.
“Well I think it’s our responsibility to make sure that we’re being responsible for the people next do us. Just doing my part. And I’m appreciative that the other people are doing their part as well."
And while the airport itself does not require people to wear face coverings, they are encouraging people to be aware of the different airline's policies.
"So anyone scheduling air travel right now in the weeks and months ahead really needs to check with the airline and make sure they understand what those rules are and that they get to the airport equipped with what they need." Bridger-Hunt said. “The airlines are trying to manage what really is just a huge impact on the industry. The airlines right now are working very hard on the path forward and what that will look like.”