RDU experiencing 'very steady increases in travel'

RDU Airport said a pandemic recovery is taking flight in the right direction and is rebounding well. March was the busiest month since the global pandemic began.

Video Transcript

ELAINA ATHANS: RDU tells me that the recovery has started, and it's rebounding rather well. So let's take a look at some of the data. The airport started 2020 with 58 nonstop flights. During the height of the pandemic, that number dropping to 21, more than half of carriers suspending their flights.

All international service was halted. Now, two international flights have returned, and there is a total of 39 nonstop flights. What that means, the growth for travelers, more options.

SHERRI JACKSON BOYKIN: Thank god. [CHUCKLES] Right.

ELAINA ATHANS: Sherri Jackson Boykin travels for work every other week. Her on the go schedule has pretty much kept up throughout COVID-19, and has been a source of frustration.

SHERRI JACKSON BOYKIN: Not enough flights, like, not enough options. Even getting to Atlanta is difficult, and that's a hub.

ELAINA ATHANS: RDU says things are finally taking flight in the right direction. March was the busiest month since the global crisis hit, airlines recently announcing they're adding flights to Destin, Florida, and San Francisco.

STEPHANIE HAWCO: And that's really significant for the business community here. That was a very popular destination. So we're on the mend.

ELAINA ATHANS: Businesses are making investments in the airport's future. La Farm Bakery is opening a spot in Terminal 2 this June. A new burger bar is coming. RDU expecting continued passenger growth through April.

STEPHANIE HAWCO: We have a long way to go before we get back to 2019 levels, but we are seeing slow but very steady increases in traffic.

ELAINA ATHANS: As more flights are coming online, it could help folks like Sherri get around easier.

SHERRI JACKSON BOYKIN: I'm glad they're opening up more things. Sometimes I'd have to fly to-- lately have to fly to Charlotte to-- to find at least a cheaper enough-- cheap enough flight to-- to get to where I need to go.

ELAINA ATHANS: I'm also being told an 11th carrier will soon be setting up shop here. Now, it is worth noting that the CDC is still recommending that folks do not travel until they are fully vaccinated. At RDU airport, Elaina Athans, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.