Tri-Cities Airport reports roughly half amount of travel compared to 2019 ahead of holiday

Local Coronavirus Coverage

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – AAA predicts the largest one year decrease on record for air travel as families turn to virtual gatherings for Thanksgiving.

The association reported November 12 that it estimates close to 2.5 million flyers will make their way to see family this year. That’s roughly half from 2019.

Tri-Cities Airport says right now their capacity is right in line with that at about 45-50 percent of last year.

Executive Director Gene Cossey says despite the lower volume, the number of passengers is higher than at the beginning of the pandemic.

“The airplanes are probably the cleanest place you can be,” Cossey said. “The airlines clean them between each and every flight, and the air filtration system on the airline is the hospital grade HEPA filters that filter out any particulates at all. So it is probably the cleanest air and the cleanest place you can be is on that aircraft.”

If you are traveling to a different state for Thanksgiving, make sure you’re up to date on any COVID-19 restrictions.

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