Holiday travel drastically lower at Savannah-Hilton Head Int’l Airport

Flights three times lower than same time last year

Holiday travel drastically lower at Savannah-Hilton Head Int’l Airport

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Typically, Memorial Day Weekend would be especially busy for the airport.

Travelers flying in to celebrate the unofficial start of summer here locally.

But this year those numbers won’t be anywhere close to their typical mark, coming up short by thousands.

"Well it is usually a very bustling place,” said Savannah Hilton Head International Airport Marketing Director Lori Lynah.

But that of course is not the case right now for Savannah Hilton Head International Airport in the wake of COVID-19.

Lynah says in years past for the days ahead of Memorial Day weekend you could expect, “lots of people coming in, thousands actually, of people coming in.”

But this year.

“We might have close to a thousand, maybe.”

Flights being cut back from around sixty a day this time last year to just about fifteen this year.

Even for those flights that are coming in.

“The airlines are not booking their flights full," says Lynah, "so, even if you do have a flight it’s not going to be book to one-hundred percent.”

Fewer flights, fewer people, meaning for the airport.

“Loss of revenue. That’s the number one force-field we’re in right now.”

While things do look bleak right now Lynah says there is some hope on the horizon.

“We know we’re going to get some flights added back in in June and for sure in July as well.”

But as for when they may get back to where they were before the pandemic, that’s still up in the air.

“It could be years, it could be months, but we don’t expect this year to see the same number of passengers we had last year for sure.”

Lynah did say luckily, they are getting help for some of their expenses through the CARES Act.

She also joked one of the bright sides right now is if you’re flying out there is plenty of parking in their garages.

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