Crew shortages, COVID-19 scales back some flights at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The recent surge of COVID-19 cases is affecting flights going out of Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport saw three or four flights to Washington-Dulles Airport a day. Now, we are seeing only one flight a day,” said Brad Boettcher, the director of marketing and air service development at the airport.

This is due to positive COVID-19 tests from pilots and crew, as well as vaccine mandates from air carriers. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, air carriers retired entire fleets of airplanes. Crew and other staffers also retired. Now, they are having trouble bouncing back from those retirements.

To keep up with delays and cancellations, the airport recommends downloading your air carrier’s app to receive updates on flights.

You are also encouraged to bring a snack when flying because some airport vendors are closed.

In addition, masks are still required in the airport and on all flights.

Although air carriers are back to 100 percent capacity, planes are not full this time of year so worried passengers will be able to relax some. Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport continues to keep up with cleaning procedures as well as social distancing guidelines. 

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