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Economy

QC Airport Sees Signs of Life in Air Travel Industry

qc_airport_2020_traffic.png
Quad City International Airport
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2020 passenger traffic at the QC Airport - green line is 2020, blue is 2019

After surviving a dismal year for air travel caused by the pandemic, officials at the Quad City International Airport see some reason for optimism in the new year. Figures for 2020, show passenger traffic dropped 58 per cent compared to the previous year.

Spokeswoman Ashleigh Johnston says the first positive sign for 2021 occurred last week when United announced it will resume flights from the Quad Cities to Denver, starting next month.

qc_airport_oval_may_2018.jpg

"So I would say that does point to a re-emerging interest in travel and perhaps some increase from leisure travelers and or even maybe business travelers heading into the new year."

And she's hoping optimism by United will encourage other airlines to resume all their past service to the Quad Cities. Johnston says the pandemic has forced airlines to change how they set their schedules.

"But airlines are only finalizing their schedules a few weeks in advance. So rather than being able to look ahead four to six months, we're really only able to look ahead four to six weeks and see what our routes are going to look like and what recovery looks like."

Since the pandemic began, Delta cancelled its flights from the Quad Cities to Minneapolis and Detroit, but continued flying to Atlanta, while the other airlines mainly continued serving their destinations, just with reduced schedules.

United says it will resume Quad Cities to Denver flights on February 11th.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.