QC airport hopeful for air travel comeback in 2021

Local News

Air travel is expected to pick back up in the Quad Cities after a 60% decrease in flights last year.

“We do believe that the worst is behind us,” Ashleigh Johnston, the public relations and marketing manager for the Quad City International Airport said.

Although there are still a lot of unknowns about how the travel industry will forever be impacted by the pandemic, Johnston said travel numbers are currently steady.

“Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because January is one of the lowest months of the year. It’s just not a popular month to travel no matter what year it is. And we have been able to maintain our passengers. So I think we will continue to see some increases as the year goes on,” she said.

Johnston said leisure travel is coming back faster than business travel as people rebook cancelled 2020 vacations.

With masks and increased cleaning, Davenport native Austin Teel is heading to Arizona with friends. He said he feels safe traveling.

“If it fits my schedule and I still feel like things are safe, then yeah, I will still continue to travel,” he said.

Teel is a newlywed, and said he and his wife postponed their honeymoon which was out of the country.

“We didn’t want anything wild to happen to us. So things like that, bigger trips, we’ve kind of been on the more precautionary side,” he said.

And as proof of COVID-19 vaccines could be required to fly later on, which some are calling “vaccine passports, Johnston says there’s a lot to consider when deciding travel requirements. One of the biggest concerns is vaccine rollout since shots are still limited for the majority of the U.S. population.

“I think it’s more complex than just do we need a [vaccine] passport or not, and I think we will certainly be paying attention to those conversations that are happening,” she said.

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