CCIA braces for a busy travel season

Corpus Christi International Airport is preparing to see the busiest year the airport has ever seen. About 80% of fights are already booked for the month of June.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Following Memorial Day weekend airlines are observing how many people choose to take flights.

Airports then take that information to project how busy traveling by air will become in the following months. Some airports are projecting to see pre-pandemic numbers of passengers.

With the upward trend of more residents traveling by air the need to handle pilot shortages to accommodate more flights becomes a larger issue.

Corpus Christi International Airport is preparing to see the busiest year the airport has ever seen. About 80% of fights are already booked for the month of June.

“We’re gonna see probably about 3600 people a day, in and out of the terminal,” said Kevin Smith, Director of Aviation for CCIA. “And that’s, I mean, compared to the first day I walked in the terminal, we saw 50 people a day. So it’s really exciting.”

Smith said he’s seen an upward trend of residents taking flight.

“We believe we’re going to be about 2% above where we were this time, pre-COVID, like 2018,” Smith said.

Seeing pre-COVID activity, means more foot traffic for area travelers, both to and from the Coastal Bend.

“It’s really important that the fares are going up, if you’re trying to book June flights right now, and you’re gonna have a real hard time finding the flights you want,” Smith said.

With passengers beginning to book flights, Smith said it’s important to plan flights in advance to get the best price on airfare.

“They’re also gonna be very expensive, July’s booking up very quickly too, we feel like June, July and August are probably going to be the three busiest months in a row we’ve ever seen in this airport,” Smith said.

With busy months ahead, there’s an even larger need for pilots to accommodate for more flights. Which with just about everything else, has experienced a shortage.

American Airlines sent the below statement regarding pilot shortages.

We’re making proactive adjustments to our schedule to mitigate any future travel disruptions related to near-term pilot staffing challenges at our regional carriers, including impacts of Omicron.

With a network that offers more daily departures than any other major US carrier, we expect the number of customers affected by these changes to be minimal and we’re reaching out to those affected to provide alternate
travel options to get them to their destination.

For travelers such as Jaqueline Nyakoe, being cautious of COVID-19 is still a top concern since the virus is still very present.

“This has given us an opportunity to at least travel, and see sights and see areas and enjoy ourselves. Not forgetting to take the precautions because it’s not like gone for good,” Nyakoe said.

However, since the pandemic halted travel for some over the past few years, Nyakoe is eager to explore the world.

“Of course, I have to travel, go to areas that I was not able to go, like Disneyland,” Nyakoe said. “I really wanted to go there. But due to the COVID issue, we could not go. But right now, there are more people traveling, more people going out there.”

For more information regarding available flights and securing your desired airline of travel, click here.

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