Decrease in air travel at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport due to delta variant, officials say

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is reporting a decrease in travel between July and August.

Officials with the airport reported a nine percent decrease between the two summer months, with August reporting 45,726 passengers compared to 50,546 in July. This equates to 155 less passengers flying each day in August than in July.

The airport says the decrease in travel is due to the spread of the delta variant, as well as leisure travel winding down and schools reopening.

“Passengers are more comfortable with the measures taken by the airports and airlines to ensure their
safety,” stated David Jeavons, interim executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “Due to the Delta variant, airlines are seeing bookings decrease during the third quarter and this will impact travel overall. As this variant subsides, and as airlines rebuild their schedules, it is critical to use our current service not only to keep it but also to have more restored and help our regional economy recover. Air service will be even more important when our business customers return to the sky. We continue to appreciate the community support for choosing ROA and not driving out of the market to fly.”

In a year-over-year comparison, officials say that August had a 110 percent increase from 2020 to 2021, but a 25 percent decrease from 2019 to 2021.

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