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GALLERY: Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport quiet as flight demand drops

(WWMT/Sarah White)
A sign in front of the Transportation Security Administration's checkpoint states that the area will be open at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.{ } (WWMT/Sarah White)

The Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport is feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as many airlines reduce flights due to low passenger counts.

Craig Williams, the airport director, said Tuesday that airlines have been changing their flight schedules all across the network. He said the airlines have been seeing passenger counts in the single-digits.

"International flights have been reduced by almost 95% and domestically, depending on the airline, some as high as 80% down to 50% and that's impacting us here," he said.

Airlines servicing the airport will be reducing some flight availability starting April 1, 2020.

Delta airlines will be stopping service to Minneapolis through April as well as shifting to two daily flights to Detroit through April.

American Airlines will be reducing from three flights a day to two flights a day to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

With most of the flights coming to and from the airport being Detroit and Chicago, coronavirus hot spot cities, Williams said the airport has a plan in place for how they would respond if a passenger were to be sick with COVID-19, but most flights are operating as normal.

Williams said the drop in flights not only affects the airport but also the businesses that depend on travelers.

"The airlines are hurting because there are no passengers on them but you have to look down the operations chain of that," he said. "Our restaurants, our concessions, rental cars, taxis, parking operations, they're all hurting as you go down that chain."

The airport, airlines, and rental car companies all report that they have reduced staffing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.