Air travel continues to recover from pandemic stall

ASHWAUBENON, Wisconsin – One of the best travel tips is to get to the airport early. Especially if you haven’t seen your loved ones for over a year.

What would you like to know

  • AAA predicts 2.5 million people will fly this holiday weekend
  • That’s over 2 million more people than last year
  • Airline bookings at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport increased 46% on May 27-28 compared to same period in 2020
  • Business travel seems to be making a resurgence sooner than expected

Cassandria Castillo arrived at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport approximately three and a half hours before Friday’s flight. She returned to the Dominican Republic for a visit delayed by COVID.

“It’s so exciting,” said the New London resident. “I’m coming maybe three and a half hours early because I’m so excited to see my family again. “

Castillo is among 2.5 million Americans expected to fly this weekend, according to AAA. This is two million more than the same period last year.

It continues a positive trend for the airline industry.

“Over the past two or three months, we are starting to see our numbers approach pre-pandemic levels,” airport manager Marty Piette said. “We are still not there. We are still 30% of the pre-pandemic period, but people are coming back and we are seeing increases every week.

Airline bookings in Green Bay are up about 46% for Thursday and Friday.

Leisure travel is leading the charge, but business travel is showing a resurgence sooner than expected.

“We’re very happy to be back to what it’s like to be in an airport, and that’s seeing passengers,” Piette said.

He expects the positive trend to continue over the summer. But it will likely still be some time before the airport and airlines see passenger numbers similar to 2019.

A more immediate concern is what Castillo plans to do when she sees her family in the Dominican Republic.

“Oh, it’s gonna be so exciting,” she said. “I’m going to give them a hug and tell them how much I love them.” “

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