Quad Cities International Airport showing signs of recovery, but still facing headwinds

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 4:07 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - April passenger numbers continue to improve at the Quad Cities International Airport, but many challenges remain. The airport released passenger figures for April 2022 on Tuesday. They show air traffic reached more than 48,000 passengers, compared to 36,594 in 2021 and a pandemic-era low of 2,734 in April, 2020. That compares to 59,000 passengers in April of 2019.

According to a news release, demand for leisure travel is meeting or even exceeding 2019 levels and business travel is starting to return, with analysts predicting full recovery by 2023. While demand is high, airlines are grappling with high fuel prices and staffing shortages that are creating roadblocks to full recovery.

“There are new challenges airports and airlines are facing coming out of the pandemic but we are glad that our lowest point seems to be behind us,” said Ashleigh Davis, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Quad Cities International Airport.

The report says airlines have yet to restore their full network, instead focusing their limited resources in areas with the highest demand. At the airport in Moline, that is evident with the Delta Air Lines route to Detroit, which is still suspended. Delta is focusing its recovery efforts at other major hubs like Atlanta. The airport has not been given an update on when service might be restored.

Airport officials have been working to restore frequency of existing routes and explore opportunities for new routes. The health and growth of the region will play a role as airlines seek data that supports why certain routes may be a good fit for their network. Meanwhile, rising fuel prices could impact future ticket sales.

“The cost of airfare is going to give many passengers sticker shock especially for those that have traveled over the past couple of years,” said Davis. “There are still some good fares with traditionally ultra-low-cost-carriers like Allegiant, but passengers need to prepare themselves for higher costs across most airlines.,” she added.

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