The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the airline industry.
This Labor Day weekend, what would typically be a booming time for Denver International Airport, will draw in a mere fraction of the usual passengers it would on a normal year.
Between Friday and Tuesday, airport officials anticipate nearly 160,000 travelers, or about 52% fewer people, traveling through security checkpoints as people continue to choose staying home over traveling.
Still, DIA spokeswoman Emily Williams said the airport is recovering faster than most across the country.
In August, TSA checkpoint volume was down 56% from 2019, a bleak yet better stat than the national average of 72%.
In July, Denver’s airport traffic was down 75% but still proved to the second-busiest of any other in the nation that month, airport officials reported.
“Additionally, of the top 20 U.S. airports, Denver experienced the smallest year-over-year capacity decline in the month of August, operating at 72% capacity of 2019, compared to the average of just 49%,” Williams told Colorado Politics in an email. “Obviously, we’re not sure what the next few months will look like in terms of passenger traffic, but there was some good news this summer.”
Friday is expected to be the busiest day of the weekend, with nearly 40,000 travelers estimated to pass through security.
The airport has taken numerous steps to reduce the spread of illness, from installing more than 100 hand-sanitizing stations in high-trafficked areas, ramping up their cleaning efforts, reconfiguring their dining and shopping areas and placing up Plexiglas barriers at check-in counters, security checkpoints and airline podiums.