Airlines Prepare for September 11 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/05/02

Airlines Prepare for September 11

It's hard to believe it happened nearly one year ago. The impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks was felt across the country; more specifically, it crippled the airline industry. But some airlines are getting back on track.

"We returned to profitability in the second quarter," Joe Leonard, Airtran CEO, told us.

He says they've been doing well, but, like the other airlines, his company is bracing for a recession.

"The week of September 11, we're expecting lower than normal bookings," said Leonard, "and we have taken the capacity out of our system in anticipation of that."

It's not just Airtran preparing for a setback. Officials at the Savannah International Airport say they're expecting a drop in business too.

"I think it will be very very slow," said Patrick Graham, the Savannah Airport commissioner. "Those people who have to fly will, and those who don't will not."

Frequent flyer Proctor Jones flies on pretty regular basis, and September 11 or not, he says he'll be in the skies. "I have no problem," he said. "I don't think it really matters, the date so much, if a terrorist attack occurs."

And that, Joe Leonard hopes, will be the attitude most people have. But since that's not likely, Airtran and other airlines will have to hope for a smooth recovery after September 11.

Travel experts say things could slow down in the skies for about two weeks around September 11, but they expect flights to pick right back up.

Reported by: Dmitra Denmark

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