7 months after start of pandemic, Baton Rouge Airport begins seeing comeback

Baton Rouge airport beginning to see increase in flights 7 months after start of pandemic

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After months of being cooped up inside, it turns out many people are starting to warm up to the idea of taking flight again.

The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) is seeing more people starting to fly again. Air traffic ground to a halt at the start of the pandemic in March, but it has recovered significantly since then.

BTR is reporting only being down about half of its passengers as compared to 2019, which is better than the national average, with airports still down nearly 60%.

“I think there’s more confidence in the safety of traveling. I think they know the airlines and the airports have strict rules for cleaning; masks are required,” said Jim Caldwell a spokesman for the airport.

Passengers echoed those thoughts, saying they feel comfortable flying out of the airport.

“Everybody was in masks, we were here at 2 in the morning,” said Gayle Lewis, who flew into Baton Rouge from St. Louis Monday morning. "There weren’t a whole lot of people and everybody is keeping their distance.

While this is good news for airport, Caldwell says air travel isn’t expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022.

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