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Traffic is Down at Orlando International Airport, But It’s Not All Bad News as Spirit Airlines Adds Flights

Passengers are returning to MCO, but not as quickly as expected. Photo: Isaac Babcock

Orlando International Airport says it has seen an uptick in travelers since the state has reopened, but that those numbers are still down compared to projections.

As theme parks and other businesses in Orlando reopen, the Orlando International Airport reported more than 10,000 travelers in a single day departed from the airport Tuesday.

Spokesperson Carolyn Fennell says that’s a 74 percent drop in traffic compared with projections which called for more than 60,000 daily passengers 

Fennell says in order to encourage air travel the airport installed social distancing reminders and plastic shields at ticket counters and security. 

“In our effort, we are making sure the health protocols are in place. We’re working with our airline partners. Every effort is being made to encourage confidence in travel.”

But she says they can’t require customers to wear face masks.

“We can’t demand that passengers wear in the public area of the airport-we certainly encourage it. As for employees, that is individual corporate monitoring of it.”

Seven US airlines including Southwest Airlines which has a hub at MCO have put a mandatory face mask policy in place.

Anyone in noncompliance is put on an internal no-fly list.

The airport hit a 97 percent reduction in business in March at the start of the pandemic. Even with these setbacks, Spirit Airlines will add 14 flights in June.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »