Despite COVID-19 surge, FWA expects increase in travel for Thanksgiving

Home for the Holidays

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) expects to see an increase in travel for the holiday, compared to earlier this month.

“Since COVID began the holidays have seen an increase in traffic,” said Joe Marana, the Director of Operations and Facilities at Fort Wayne International Airport. “We have not seen the booking numbers yet, but we do know that we’re going to have increased aircraft which would mean that we’re going to have increased passengers.”

Although FWA expects an increase in travelers compared to most weeks in 2020, the amount of passengers flying out for Thanksgiving will be significantly down compared to other years, where the Tuesday and Wednesday before the holiday and the Sunday after, are typically very busy.

In terms of amount of people traveling since February, right before the pandemic started, the airport saw its best numbers in October. However, Marana said the numbers have been down again the last few weeks.

“With the slow couple weeks we have seen so far this month, I’m assuming this month won’t be as successful as October was compared to 2019 even with the holiday travel,” Marana said.

In November 2019, FWA flew 31,600 passengers out.

Earlier on Thursday the CDC issued a recommendation begging Americans not to travel this Thanksgiving. Marana said the airport is just a “conduit for people to travel” and does not make those decisions.

“We encourage everyone to make their own decisions whether they’re going to travel or not,” Marana said. ” I will tell you that we were doing everything in our power to make it safe and we’re eager to serve the community if they choose to travel.”

Some of the precautions FWA is taking to keep its passengers safe include extra cleaning and sign announcements and markings encouraging social distancing and mask wearing.

Marana’s recommendation for anyone who chooses to travel this holiday season is to stay updated with travel restrictions. This can be done on any airline’s website.

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