Airport passenger traffic down 44% in March amid coronavirus outbreak
Passenger traffic at Des Moines International Airport was down 44% in March as social distancing efforts sharply curtailed flight activity at the airport, according to data released Friday. Cargo activity was down just 1.3% year-over-year in March, with outgoing cargo up 4% and incoming cargo down 5.3%. During the last week of March, 96 departures were canceled due to decreased demand, said Kayla Kovarna, the airport’s communications director. “To date, April is showing around a 95% decrease in passenger counts compared to the same time prior year, and we are anticipating over 575 flight reductions,” she said in an email on Friday. “We have anticipated flight cancellations and schedule reductions due to the lack of passenger traffic. We can expect to see low passenger numbers linger as we continue to practice social distancing and follow stay-at-home recommendations.” The airport remains open as an essential service for commercial travel as well as air cargo.