ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando International Airport says it’s seeing travel numbers bounce back during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic after recording its busiest week since March.
The airport said Sunday was its busiest day since March 17, when Gov. Ron DeSantis announced statewide measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. TSA agents screened around 39,292 people at security checkpoints on Sunday, according to airport officials.
Jen Morgan and her son Hudson are from Colorado and wrapped up his birthday trip to Orlando Tuesday. The two visited some of the theme parks and explained this was the first time they’ve traveled in seven months.
“When we left Denver we saw a huge increase that’s the busiest that I’ve seen the airport since we left and I’m hopeful this is the beginning of things starting to get back to normal,” Morgan said.
TSA’s record meant MCO, Orlando’s airport code, was the busiest airport in Florida and the fifth busiest airport in the country for departing passengers, airport officials said.
“As we begin to see traffic recover at Orlando International Airport, we remain committed to the health and safety of the traveling public,” Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Phil Brown said in a news release. “Seeing our airport busy with increasing traffic, we believe, reflects a pent-up demand for travel across the country that we hope will continue through the upcoming holiday travel season.”
Numbers from Oct. 10 through Oct. 18 show a steady increase in travel. Numbers from MCO reveal more than 229,892 people were screened throughout the week, marking the busiest period since the beginning of the pandemic. Three of those days each had more than 30,000 departing travelers.
Authorities monitoring the numbers say the increase in travelers comes during a rebound period for air service, adding that MCO saw a 29% increase in flights compared to last month. They are factoring in the increase in flying options as 31 services from nine different airlines resumed, providing more nonstop service flights and more places to travel.
Shane Campfield says this is a good sign and believes more travelers could boost tourism and Orlando’s local economy especially with the holidays around the corner.
“Places like Disney, Universal and the airport are really desperate for increase in funds and all of that so I would say it’s pretty much the best of both worlds,” Campfield said.