Non-stop flights from Gainesville Regional Airport to Miami are resuming after a six-month, COVID-19 related hiatus.
These flights, operated by American Airlines, allow passengers to travel directly to Miami where they can connect to national and international locations.
In March when COVID-19 shutdowns began, the Gainesville Regional Airport saw its traffic drop by 95%, airport spokesperson Erin Porter said.
“We’re still down about 65% of what we would’ve expected under normal conditions,” she said.
These flights are occurring five days a week, with none on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. They include a 6:30 a.m. departure from Gainesville to Miami and a returning flight at 9:30 p.m.
Porter said she is excited to see them resuming.
“When they removed those non-stop flights to Miami, we were obviously sad about it because there were two a day and it just makes things easier for our travelers,” she said.
Those who haven’t been in the airport since March will find it’s been transformed to enforce social distancing guidelines: Stickers, placards and county-provided signage remind people to socially distance. There are also plexiglass barriers in some spots.
Travelers are required to wear face masks in the airport as well as in planes.
On its planes, American Airlines is implementing electrostatic spraying, which kills 99.9% of viruses. The filters on the aircraft also refresh the cabin air every two to four minutes.