Jackson Hole Airport

The passenger terminal at Jackson Hole Airport was nearly empty one Tuesday afternoon in late March. Plane traffic at Wyoming’s busiest airport was down 97% last month compared with April 2019.

Jackson Hole Airport released data Thursday that shows how world-stopping the COVID-19 pandemic has been for commerce and especially travel.

Use of commercial jets at Teton County’s transportation hub fell by an astounding 97% in the month of April compared to a year prior.

Those numbers jibe with anecdotal observations from airport staff.

“We’ve had days where we’ve had flights with an Airbus that had four passengers on it,” Jackson Hole Airport Director Jim Elwood said halfway through April.

The jets have a capacity of about 120.

April and November are ordinarily the slowest months of the year for the airport, which received a $16.5 million grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to help weather the storm.

The busiest April in history was 2019, with 13,945 passengers.

This April there were 481.

Volume of jets on the runway fell by more than half — from 179 landings to 80 in April — which means an average of three planes flying a day.

The percentage of seats occupied on 36 Delta flights averaged 5%. United Express’ 44 planes have been 8% full.

The precipitous drop in air traffic is being experienced by airlines operating out of airports across the United States.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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