As Indiana airports prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday rush, there are indications that air travel is coming back. In the third quarter, Indianapolis International Airport reported more than 2 million passengers, and has outpaced the U.S. recovery based on passenger numbers in 16 of 17 months ending in August, according to the Transportation Safety Administration. But Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez warns changes in business travel will force some airlines to adjust their business models.
“There is a need for business travel, but there is going to be less business travel going into the future,” said Rodriguez. “And that is a call to arms for the legacy carriers, United, Delta and American that depend on the business traveler for their profitability.”
Rodriguez talked about the state of the airline industry and the possibility of a new transatlantic flight on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Passenger traffic in the third quarter at the Indy airport increased by 133 percent over the same period a year ago, but was down just 15 percent from the third quarter of 2019, before the impact of the pandemic began to take hold.
Airport officials attribute the comeback to added seat capacity from new nonstop flights, new airlines and the resumption of popular routes.