Traffic through RDU increases for 7th straight month, but may not continue

United Airlines will require US employees to be vaccinated

RDU AIRPORT – The Raleigh-Durham Airport reported its seventh straight month of growth with regard to passenger traffic, with a 9% increase in traffic for travel occurring in July compared to June.

Nearly 968,000 passengers traveled through the airport in the month of July, the airport said in a statement.  That’s a 363% increase compared to July 2020, and traffic volume in 2021 was 72% of July 2019 levels, the airport shared.

The airport, which in June announced the ‘Carry On’ campaign to spur air travel, expects that the passenger traffic levels in July will be the highest until at least December, noting that leisure travel typically declines in the fall.

The airport stated that while leisure travel declines after Labor Day, corporate travel typically would increase during that time, which would offset the traffic losses.

But fewer business travelers are expected.

“July is the peak of RDU’s busy summer season and leisure travelers are fueling a recovery that is unfolding faster than the industry expected,” said Michael Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority in a statement.

“With students going back to school in August, the increase in business travel that traditionally begins in September will become even more critical to the airport’s success,” said Landguth.


Decline in business travel could be permanent, analyst Beroe finds


An analysis released earlier this month from Raleigh-headquartered Beroe, Inc. found that corporate business travel may fall by as much as 19%, and that this reduction in corporate travel could be permanent.

And regional leaders were told in July that business travel isn’t likely to resume any time soon.

At the airport, and on airlines, there will be a mask mandate through at least January 18, 2022, as TSA is extending its mask mandate.  That’s due to concerns about the spread of the Delta variant, and the agency made the decision at the direction of the CDC, the airport stated.


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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.