Airports impacted after airlines announce dramatic cuts to their flights because of COVID-19 pandemic

The U.S. Transportation Department announced Twin Falls is receiving a $900,000 transportation grant to improve local air service with flights to Denver International Airport. (Source: United Airlines)
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) It has been a very surreal time for all of us, especially for those who work in the airline and airport business. Many major airlines including Delta, American, and United among others, grounding anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of their flights over at least the next month or so because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People just aren’t traveling, with many places with a stay at home self quarantine, no travel order, those kinds of things" said Rick Piccolo, President and CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. I’m surprised the airlines are flying as much as they are, when I see three or four passengers get off a 180 seat aircraft, it makes you wonder why they are flying.”

Jan Nicholson was flying to Indianapolis tonight from SRQ. She tells us it doesn’t bother her to be flying during these very challenging times.

“The difference I suppose would be the number of people on the airplane, maybe the way they seat us," said Nicholson. "We may not be sitting beside anybody else, but it doesn’t make me nervous.”

SRQ’s president tells us they would typically have 10,000 passengers on a day like today. Now they’re are lucky to see a few hundred. He says he hasn’t laid off any of his employees and he’ll use this quiet time to work on some projects to improve the airport.

“It’s really a little sad to watch but our spirits are up, our people are working hard and the place has never been cleaner and we’re going to be ready for when it comes back,” said Piccolo.

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