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ILM experiences increase in travel during holiday season

Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 9:50 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The coronavirus pandemic has changed many people’s travel plans over the holiday season.

But, according to Wilmington International Airport (ILM) director Julie Wilsey, ILM is seeing an increase in people flying for Christmas compared with Thanksgiving.

“We started to see an increase in passenger traffic last Thursday,” said Wilsey. “We were strong Thursday through now. We’re seeing about 1000 people leaving a day and that’s really good post-COVID.”

With Christmas day falling on a Friday this year, it’s giving people more time to reach their destination.

“Christmas is a little bit more relaxed; people tend to space it out a little more,” said Wilsey. “I think they were probably saving their travel for Christmas because they have a little bit more flexibility to stay and spend more time with family...rather than just have a quick three days and then be back home.”

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases is a concern for some flying, but not enough to change their plans.

“There is a little bit of apprehension that I’ll bring something back with me,” said Kristie Withee, who’s headed to see family in Boston. “Realistically, every year that I travel, there’s the flu, the cold. You always run the risk of bringing something home. You just do what you can and hope for the best.”

“I was a little bit nervous that flights would be canceled,” added Julia Clark. “But I didn’t consider canceling it.”

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