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Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport recovering from virus slowdown

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport)

PHOENIX — Passenger travel at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is beginning to rebound after a slow few months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Passenger traffic at the East Valley airport was down only 35% in August compared to 2019, a continued improvement after air travel was limited in March because of COVID-19.

The airport’s slowest months came in April and May, when travel was down 93% and 61%, respectively, compared to 2019 totals.

Additionally, Gateway Airport saw more travelers during Labor Day weekend this year than in 2019.

“Gateway Airport and Allegiant have done a good job ensuring that high touch areas in the terminal remain clean, passengers wear masks and everyone respects social distancing,” Gateway Airport Executive Director and CEO J. Brian O’Neill said in a press release.

Allegiant Air, Gateway Airport’s predominant air carrier, is offering more than 45 nonstop flights.

In May, the airport launched its “Stay Healthy, Fly Safe” initiative to “provide a safe and healthy travel experience” for everyone visiting.

As part of the initiative, the airport encouraged physical distancing, provided face coverings to passengers who wanted one, and enhanced cleaning and sanitation of high-touch areas.

The airport is coming off its best year in history, serving nearly 1.8 million passengers in 2019.

“Our ‘Stay Healthy, Fly Safe’ initiative has helped stop the spread of COVID-19 and helped build consumer confidence in the safety of air travel,” O’Neill said.

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