Five more airlines expect to receive coronavirus loans
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Five more airlines have reached agreements with the Treasury Department to receive billions of dollars in coronavirus loans. The demand for air travel is still lower than it was this time last year. The Bismarck Airport says it's experienced the impacts along with the rest of the nation.
The director at the Bismarck Airport says they experienced the third busiest day they’ve ever had in March, then the slowest day on March 30 due to the pandemic.
The huge swing in traffic is something airports and airlines are experiencing across the U.S.
Now, the Treasury Department is stepping in to help.
There's hesitant passengers.
"I thought that it would be canceled last minute, considering the cases are going up. But, I went ahead and took the risk," said Bismarck Airport Customer Courtney Roberts.
There's empty rows.
"There were open seats. I would say it was probably 80 or 85 percent full," said Bismarck Airport Customer Paul Hummel.
The coronavirus isn't going away and neither is the dip in demand.
"Time will tell what happens with our passenger traffic. But, I think it's going to take us a while before we fully recover," Bismarck Airport Director Greg Haug said.
In March, the Bismarck Airport's traffic dipped to about half of what it was the same time last year.
In April, traffic reached a low of 90% fewer passengers.
"We went from over 1,400 passengers to about a little over 30. And, on a daily basis," Haug said.
Airlines themselves have taken a hit.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Delta, United, JetBlue, Southwest and Alaska are signing letters of intent for relief loans.
The Treasury Department didn't disclose the terms of each potential loan nor the amounts.
The potential funding would come from the $25 billion set aside for passenger airlines in the CARES Act.
Greg Haug says the Bismarck Airport is using this time to focus on projects around the airport like expanding its parking lot and the cafe.
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