More Travelers Fly in July, Passenger Count Remains Low

Delta Sky Club, Terminal Restaurants and Stores Reopen

RDU passenger traffic remains unusually low as the global health pandemic continues to impact air travel. RDU saw a modest increase in the number of travelers flying through the airport in July with 306,715 total passengers. Traffic was down 77.1% compared to July 2019, but up 46.7% from June 2020. July is traditionally RDU’s busiest month of the year.

“The aviation industry continues to feel the effects of the global pandemic and government restrictions that discourage non-essential travel,” said Michael Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “With corporate travel down, most of the traffic is leisure travel with passengers taking advantage of low air fares and flying in greater numbers during the summer months. We expect to see the number of travelers flatten or fall with the start of the school year.”

The week ending August 10 was RDU’s busiest week since passenger traffic hit its lowest point in mid-April. TSA screened more 41,000 departing passengers that week, a 74% decline over the same week in 2019, but a 6% increase over the week before.

Consistent with national trends, the number of people flying through RDU peaked over the 4th of July holiday weekend at approximately 26% of 2019 levels. Passenger traffic flattened out for four weeks until the beginning of August, when it saw a modest bump.

Airlines continue to make near-term adjustments to their schedules, with Southwest cutting an additional 40% of its September flights at RDU.

Airline Precautions: airlines continue to enhance passenger health and safety measures, including implementing new face covering requirements, more stringent cleaning and disinfecting protocols and the ability to ban passengers who refuse to properly wear a face covering. For a roundup of precautions RDU’s airlines are taking, visit the RDU Newsroom.

Taxiway Repairs: the Board of Directors approved a nearly $103,000 task order for engineering services related to pavement rehabilitation on Taxiway A1, where cracks and depressions have developed in the pavement. A $127,000 task order was approved for design work on the Taxiway D pavement rehabilitation project, which needs similar repairs.

Clubs and Concessions Open: Delta Air Lines is expected to reopen its Sky Club at RDU in early September. American’s Admirals Club reopened recently as a customer service center but is not offering food or beverage at this time and the United Club remains closed.

RDU also welcomed back four stores and restaurants that were closed temporarily due to the downturn in traffic. California Pizza Kitchen, Whisky River, Root & Branch and InMotion have all opened their doors at RDU in the last 30 days and are operating with modified hours.