Charleston Airport sees highest traveler numbers since pandemic began

VIDEO: Charleston Airport sees highest traveler numbers since pandemic began

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than 33,000 travelers went through the Charleston International Airport last week, marking a new high since the pandemic began.

“We saw a nice increase which has been a nice shot in the arm for us,” Airport Executive Director Elliott Summey said. “We are doing much better than what we anticipated we’d be doing by this point.”

The airport saw just over 30 percent of what it saw last year during the same week leading up to the Fourth of July. Between June 28 and July 4, 2019, there were almost 100,000 fliers coming in and out. This year, that number landed around 33,400.

The numbers, though down in comparison, have significantly increased since Memorial Day weekend when the airport was only seeing about 2,000 passengers a day.

In May, then-Airport Executive Director Paul Campbell projected by the fall they’d be back up to 50-percent of what they were at last year, but Summey said on Monday that could come sooner.

“We’re going to see more airlines add more flights by the end of July. We expect to be at 45-to-50-percent of last year’s numbers by the end of July which has well accelerated far beyond our expectations from April,” Summey said. “We expect that to expand beyond that as more folks get more consumer confidence in our airlines.”

Those airlines are also giving travelers a heads up about advisories when leaving South Carolina, a hot spot for the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you go book a flight, I noticed the other day as I booked one myself, there’s an advisory,” Summey said. “I was on the Delta app for instance and there was an advisory of, ‘If you’re going to this place, these places are quarantine when you get there.’ So, obviously the airlines are handling that part of it.”

Hand sanitizer stations and social distancing signs are scattered around the airport, and travelers are encouraged to wear masks with some airlines even requiring them.

For more information on flights and the airport, click here.

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