POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The air travel industry has taken a hit from the pandemic. Even small airports, like the Pocatello Regional Airport, felt the impacts.
“Things got really slow. Obviously, most air travel was minimized greatly, and we saw that,” said Alan Evans, airport manager.
In June, when business was at its slowest, the airport would fly 8 to 10 people out of Pocatello a day, Evans said.
Kym Marsh and Alex Burkhart, who were traveling through Pocatello back to Pennsylvania, said empty airports are a theme across the country.
“(There's) not a lot of wait in the TSA lines. You pretty much just walk onto your plane, and you’re not packed in like sardines anymore,” Burkhart said.
Now, however, PRA sees about 50-60 passengers a day on the 3 flights they have to SLC.
And while other airports and airlines are having to cut flights, the Pocatello Regional Airport is gaining a fourth daily flight for the holiday season. Starting Nov. 20, SkyWest Airlines will add an additional flight to the Salt Lake City International Airport.
“We’re starting to see an increase in our passenger numbers," Evans said. "As a matter of fact, it’s coming up each month, and we’re excited about that. It’s not where we’d like to have it, but it’s definitely much higher than it was in the past."
Along with limited passengers on planes, the airport is taking measures to keep travelers safe.
“They’re wiping (seats) down between each flight and sanitizing everything. We’ve got upgraded measures in the terminal, as does TSA as you go through their checkpoints,” Evans said.
Masks are required in the airport and on the flights.