© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Pandemic Once Again Reducing Tampa International Airport Flights

Empty chairs at Tampa International Airport
Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
Tampa International Airport was virtually empty when the pandemic first took hold in 2020.

The August decline in traffic follows a strong summer that saw a rebound in air travel.

Airlines are again reducing daily flights as bookings fall due to the surge in coronavirus cases. The slowdown is affecting flights at Tampa International Airport.

Nationwide, the number of airline travelers fell more than 6% in August. Those numbers weren't nearly as drastic at Tampa International.

Airport spokeswoman Emily Nipps says the airport had a busy summer as the pandemic seemed to wane, but the number of travelers have trended downward recently.

"We are still — this September doing a lot better than last September. But we are still down from our 2019 numbers," Nipps said. "So we are definitely seeing the zest for flying cooling off a little bit."

Nipps said this Labor Day weekend, Tampa International is expecting about 48,000 passengers a day. That's down significantly from the last pre-pandemic September in 2019, when the airport averaged closer to 60,000 passengers a day.

The August decline in traffic follows a strong summer that saw a rebound in air travel. Nipps said the real test of whether the industry is rebounding will come over the upcoming holiday season.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.