APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The COVID-19 outbreak is taking a toll on the airline industry with many flight cancellations that are affecting airports across the country. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, the sharp decline has made an impact on operations.
Passenger flights into Appleton International Airport Thursday afternoon, were described as light, with between just 6-8 passengers on board. That is unusual for this time of year, which is causing some worry among industry insiders. The decline in passengers means a decline in revenue which could lead to extensive economic effects down the line. That is why the airlines have asked the Trump administration for a stimulus relief fund to help bridge the gap.
Related: Wisconsin airports receive more than $83 million in federal funding in response to coronavirus pandemic
“At this time, we are not laying off any employees,” said Abe Weber of Appleton International Airport. Each Airport will also receive a portion of the stimulus relief, which will be used towards the payroll protection program. The hope is that with the relief, people can stay employed for as long as possible.
While traffic is down at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, officials are taking time to focus on health and safety.
“We have hired an outside contractor to assist in deep cleaning of our entire facility,” said Marty Piette of Austin Straubel.
With Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order being extended, it is unclear when the industry will fully recover. Officials at both airports say that they will remain open and in business for now.