Hopeful signs of increased traffic at Lake Charles airport

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LAKE CHARLES, La. — After one of the worst year's in the airline industry, the airport in Lake Charles is starting to see hopeful signs that air traffic is picking up.

The director of the Lake Charles Regional Airport, Heath Allen, told the American Press newspaper that the airport saw 36% more passengers in the first four days of April than they saw in all of April last year. April of 2020 was the first full month after lockdown measures instituted across the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus kept people at home and decimated the travel industry.

Allen said he thinks the traffic is due to an increase in leisure travel. He's anticipating that as more people get vaccinated that increase will continue into the summer.

“I’m very optimistic by June or July, we could be looking at numbers that might exceed 2019 levels,” Allen said. “Looking at how things are trending right now, it’s looking really good.”

However, business travel is taking longer to recover since companies still have restrictions on work-related travel, Allen said. He also said safety protocols designed to curb the spread of the virus at airports and planes will stay in place for the foreseeable future. Those guidelines are mandated by the federal government.

The Associated Press