Traffic at Atlanta’s airport is slowly but surely picking back up

Traffic picking back up at world's busiest airport

ATLANTA — Traffic is picking back up at the world's busiest airport.

Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway was at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where an increasing number of passengers are starting to check in again.

The TSA screened more than 250,000 people on Friday and checkpoints nationwide exceeded a quarter million for the first time since March 24.

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Debby Cannon leads Georgia State University's Hospitality program and believes there will be a swift recovery for airline travel.

"We still do have conventions starting as early as this summer and fall is going to be a busy time with people flying in," Cannon said.

Still, like so many businesses, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is struggling through this pandemic. The company announced they are losing $50 million a day and have refunded $1.2 billion in airfares to customers since the start of the pandemic. The airline is also retiring its Boeing 777 fleet and about a third of their workers are on unpaid leave.

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Sunday morning, grim statistic showed air travel is down 93% and the average domestic jet has only 17 people onboard.

Holloway asked Cannon how much such a big decline in travel through the airport trickles down to Atlanta’s tourism and hospitality industries.

“It’s a major impact, especially for city like Atlanta where airport traffic trickles down to the hotel, convention, and meeting industries and ultimately our restaurants and food and beverage industry,” Cannon said.

Cannon said even if business travel is never quite the same, Atlanta is a proven attraction with the aquarium, the zoo, museums and sporting events.

“Over the last several years, we’ve done as a city a good job of building our attractions and being a destination for that leisure traveler,” she said.

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