Eastern Iowa Travelers Ready To Fly
Signs are popping up all over the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) that after a year or more in lockdown, travelers aren't ready to wait much longer after getting vaccinated to get back in the air, jet off on that long-awaited vacation, or to see their friends or loved ones once again. CID director Marty Lenss spoke to the Cedar Rapids Gazette about many of these encouraging signs.
Flights are oversold
According to Lenss, airlines are increasing requests to passengers to volunteer their seats due to oversold planes. It's still only an occasional occurrence but is happening far more frequently than this time last year. Airlines are monitoring these numbers to determine when they need to be ready to increase the actual number of flights again because, despite a rise in passengers, there was still a 20 percent decrease in the number of passenger flights.
Spring Break helped
March means Spring Break and it's generally a busy month at the airport anyway, but with the pandemic creating a "pent-up" craving to get away, March 2021 was one for the books, with an 11.4 percent increase in leisure travelers over March 2020.
The momentum continued in April
Lenss says that in April 2020 they saw 1,483 enplaned passengers that entire month. April 2021 has had an average of 1,300-1,400 a day.
Other Iowa airports are seeing slower increases
While the industry as a whole wants to see success across the board, there's still competition, and Lenss says CID is pacing better than some of its counterparts. Des Moines International Airport saw a 6.8 percent in enplaned passengers and a 1.3 percent increase in total passengers compared with March 2020.