LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The parking lot was packed at Lake Charles Regional Airport, Wednesday afternoon, with passengers flying in and out all day long.
Heath Allen, Executive Director for LCH, says right now their daily average number of passengers is down about 25 percent compared to July 2019. He says they’ve also seen some days where passenger traffic is really high.
“We’ve had a couple of days actually the 19th and 20th where we exceeded out daily average for July,” Allen said. “We try to find those little small nuggets that are bright spots. It’s strange times when being down 25 percent is actually a good thing.”
Nationwide, commercial airports daily average for traffic is down 74 percent.
Allen says in April, Lake Charles regional was seeing 89 percent less traffic compared to the year prior, but now he says they are seeing an increase in flight capacity as well as an increase in flights.
“As of July 7th, Americans went back to what we’re calling the ‘pre-COVID-19′ schedule, so about three flights a day is what they’re averaging right now,” Allen said. “United is on schedule, at least right now, so through the end of August they’ll be back to their ‘pre-COVID’ schedule and we’ll actually have more seats than we did at the same time last year.”
Allen says they’re just hopeful the increase will continue. He says right now the rest of the year looks promising.
“We look at our advanced bookings right now and for the months of September, October, December our advanced bookings are actually higher than they were in 2019 for those months so that’s encouraging,” he said.
In the meantime, Allen says LCH is continuing to take the pandemic seriously by following all the guidelines to protect its staff and passengers.