HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Labor Day is traditionally the end of the busy summer travel period. Of course, almost nothing is traditional this year, and almost nothing is busy.
Harrisburg International Airport is, at least, busier this Labor Day weekend than it was Memorial Day weekend. It’s also busier than some other major Pennsylvania airports.
Here’s how much the state’s busiest airports are down this month, from best (least decline) to worst:
Erie -41%Allentown -44%Scranton -45%Harrisburg -49%Wilkes Barre-Scranton -56%Pittsburgh -57%Philadelphia -67%
(Source: abc27 analysis of Cirium schedule data for weekly scheduled departing seats Sept. 2020 vs. Sept. 2019.)
The average decline for all Pennsylvania airports is 62 percent. For all U.S. airports, it’s 52 percent.
Ben Mutzabaugh, Senior Aviation Editor for The Points Guy and a native of Enola in Cumberland County, says Harrisburg’s relatively modest decline is thanks partly to the fact that it relies more than other airports on leisure travel.
“In this recovery from the pandemic, that’s where we’ve seen the quickest rebound,” Mutzabaugh said. “So the fact that Harrisburg has flights to Orlando and that type of thing, that’s probably helping Harrisburg recover a little more quickly than cities that are a little more dependent on business travelers.”
He added that Harrisburg is fortunate to have the leisure airline Allegiant, which has maintained more of its flying everywhere than other airlines. Also, international travel is down far more than domestic, and Harrisburg is a nearly all-domestic airport.