The future of flying in a COVID-19 world

Coronavirus
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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver International Airport continues to see a significant drop in the number of travelers flying in and out of Denver.

The most recent data (from last week) shows a 95% decrease in people passing through, compared to the same week the year prior.

“I think it’s going to be a slow startup,” said Jeff Price, an aviation expert and professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

According to Price, it is safe for people to fly right now; especially with the strict precautions airlines are taking to disinfect their aircrafts.

“I think right now it’s safe for people to visit family — as safe as it can be,” Price said.

Given the impact of the pandemic, some analysts are saying it could take 2-5 years for passenger numbers to return to what we saw in 2019.

“It’s not like 9/11 where it was an incident and it was over and we applied measures immediately and we got back to work. You’re not going to just turn a pandemic off overnight,” Price said.

You should expect to see fewer people per row on flights. Some airlines have already started doing this.

“As we get back into this, I think what the airlines will do is they’ll start allowing more and more people on the plane but they’ll keep those center rows up for a while just to keep some distance,” Price said.

As COVID-19 cases drop, Price said you’ll start to see more people flying.

Without a doubt, travel will be more inconvenient. Health screenings of some sort will likely have to be put in place.

“As the traffic starts to build back up, the ticket prices are going to go back up. We might even see additional fees, who knows? There might even be a public health fee, as far as I know,” Price said.

Price also said the number of available flights will likely drop dramatically for a while, especially to smaller regional airports.

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