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Airport sees highest volume of travelers since March 2020

April 22, 2021

March 2021 was the Quad Cities International Airport’s busiest month since early 2020. Restored routes and additional spring break service gave the QC Airport a boost of nearly 12,000 passengers from the previous month. This improved traffic to a 46% decline over 2019, compared to the 56-60% decline that has been the norm for the past several months.

“All indications have pointed toward a pent-up demand for travel and we’re seeing the evidence of that here,” said Benjamin Leischner, A.A.E., executive director. “The continued roll-out of the vaccine and loosening restrictions are contributing factors, instilling confidence in people who are ready to travel again.”

Airlines are being prudent in the restoration of service across the U.S. and each has taken a unique approach in the path toward recovery – including the four airlines that serve the QC Airport:

American Airlines did not suspend routes to Chicago O’Hare or Dallas-Ft. Worth, only decreasing frequency while traffic was low.

Allegiant Air, with its ultra-low-cost fares and nonstop flights to popular destinations, has gained a stronger market share throughout the past year. Exclusively for March, Allegiant added two extra days of flights to Orlando-Sanford to the existing Thursday/Sunday schedule to meet spring break travel demand.

Delta Air Lines kept its nonstop service to Atlanta and suspended service to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit. Delta was the last airline blocking the middle seat and recently announced it would begin selling middle seats May 1.

United Airlines kept service to Chicago but suspended service to Denver. The company opted to use bookings to gauge interest and determine timing for restoration of service. United restored daily service to Denver Feb. 11.

“Our recent announcement that we are embarking on a major terminal renovation will be an important tool in our toolkit as we continue discussions with airlines about restoring and adding service,” said Leischner. “While we can’t buy new service or airlines, we can work to make our airport and our region as attractive as possible.”

COVID-19 safety measures that were put in place last spring and into summer still remain. This includes frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, Plexiglas dividers, social distancing reminders, hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal and free face coverings at each entrance. Face coverings are required in the terminal.

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