May 22, 2024

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Inspired By Travel

Covid-19 and gas prices impact air travel at the Gainesville Regional Airport

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – “Pre-pandemic, yeah were still lagging” said CEO of the Gainesville Regional Airport, Allan Penksa.

Passenger numbers have decreased at the airport just under nineteen percent compared to February 2020.

General Aviation Cargo dropped more than seventy percent.

“The biggest thing is getting folks to travel again. Getting folks to go to conventions and conferences. Those things have to be operating full board to get us back where we were” said Penksa.

Numbers are now up one hundred and twenty percent since last year.

With the war in Ukraine gas prices have skyrocketed, hurting the airline industry again.

“I do know from speaking with folks that are looking to travel for work related purposes and even leisure. They have refrained from doing so and cancelled trips” said GNV traveler, Zohaad Hasan.

Although, one woman traveling for work purposes says she would prefer traveling in the air rather than filling her own tank.

“Compared to what gas prices are. I work from home so it definitely helps for me to be able to travel really quickly and get to where I go and keep it moving so I don’t have to use much gas” said Dneece Turney.

The Gainesville and Alachua County Regional Airport Authority held their monthly meeting.

One thing they discussed were developments to help get back to pre-pandemic business.

Those with the airport are working on renovations to gates and food services and will continuing to market themselves.

“We have a great vibrant business community, university community and we have a lot of folks that fly for leisure. We need to get them flying again” said Penksa.

Board members did approve a 1.5% raise for Gainesville Regional Airport Authority employees, to retain their staff during inflation.

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