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La Crosse Airport gets ready for potential drop in holiday travel



Delta, as in the airline, is a familiar name at the La Crosse Airport.

But it’s another “delta,” that’s leading to some concern about commercial travel plans.

The COVID-19 delta variant could cause passenger numbers to decline this fall and winter, according to La Crosse Airport director Ian Turner.

“We’re seeing some lower passenger counts already here in September, which is typical,” Turner told WIZM. “I think we’re gonna see a little bit bigger dip and be in that 75 to 80 percent range, when compared to 2019 traffic.”

La Crosse has seen over 8,000 passengers a month during June, July and August. That’s slightly below the levels from before the pandemic.

Turner, however, said there’s no gauging what might happen around the holidays this year.

“People are waiting much later to make travel plans,” he said. “People would start booking their holiday travel in August, September, maybe in the first part of October. They may wait to do that two weeks prior.”

The airport had its highest monthly passenger total in two years this past August.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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