Coronavirus pandemic weighing heavy on travel industry

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Airports — and travel agencies — have been hit hard by the COVID19 pandemic – people just aren’t flying, cruising, vacationing right now.

For example — Delta Airlines which flies out of Yeager Airport in Charleston is losing $60 million a day.

“It started around mid-March of this year, it started to really go down in April is when we really started to see our lowest point,” Public Affairs Manager for Yeager Airport, Chris Williams, says.

A bustling airport looking for a record year suddenly as silent as a tomb. But as the nation starts to open back up … Yeager Airport is starting to see an increase in flights and flyers this month.

Spirit Airlines says it will start flying from here to myrtle beach in early July. American said this week it will do the same on flights to Philadelphia and Regan National.

For the travel industry and the airline industry as a whole its going to take 5 to 10 years before anything is back up and running the way it was last year and the first part of this year … It’s going to take a long time.”

Chris Williams, Public Affairs Manager, Yeager Airport

A long time, especially for those who know the tourism business best.

“Its one of those unique things, we’ve been in business for 40 years and we’ve never seen anything quite like this,” CEO Ted Lawson with National Travel in Downtown Charleston says.

And it’s still unclear how the cruise ship and vacation industries – the hotel and tourism business — will be able to convince people — it’s safe to go on vacation with the family again.

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