The number of travelers using Norfolk International Airport dropped by 59% in August to 160,547 passengers, compared with 391,682 a year ago.
The steep drop reflects the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on air travel, but the situation has been improving each month since the health crisis prompted stay-at-home orders and shutdowns. Traffic year-over-year was down 64% in July, 75% in June, 87% in May and 94% in April.
The number of departing flights from the airport also was down by more than half compared with a year ago, with just 1,177 last month versus 2,494 in August 2019.
Charles Braden, the airport’s director of market development, said there are signs demand is improving. Southwest Airlines, which had scaled back its nonstop routes at the airport to just three daily departures to Baltimore, plans to bring back its nonstop Chicago Midway International Airport flight in October rather than November, he said.