COVID effect: Far-flung Alaska airport now the busiest as air travel plummets

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Air travel has nosedived worldwide due to the sweeping COVID-19-induced lockdown restrictions, which have also put brakes on other modes of transportation. But now, the whole world is slowly but surely emerging from the curbs and limping back to normal. Many countries are trying hard to revive the economies that are in tatters owing to the pandemic.

When the airports across the globe are in shutdown mode due to the spread of the contagious coronavirus, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska in the US is busy as ever. The numbers vouch for the fact that this airport was the world’s busiest aerodrome on April 25. This only points to the paradigm shift in the global aviation industry in the backdrop of the fight against COVID-19 epidemic, the airport authorities said. More importantly, the data also underscores the importance of the aviation sector in the global economy, they added.

As per the information from Flightradar24, the Anchorage airport had as many as 948 aircraft, all-cargo flights, departures and arrivals on April 25. Usually, this airport is the fifth busiest cargo hub in the world.

Alaska

The airport is situated in the remote city of Anchorage, which has a population of nearly 3 lakh people. While the Anchorage airport is loaded with air travel operations, Atlanta airport, one of the busiest facilities in the world, wears a deserted look.

Anchorage, which has special cargo transfer rights, is geographically located at equal distance from Asia and North America. These factors have catapulted the airport to the second spot on the list of busiest cargo airports in the US in normal times. Presently, many flights operate through Anchorage as the planes grounded due to coronavirus scare were fighting for space in other airports.

According to Flightradar25 data, nearly 69,586 flights were operated daily in April 2020, a dip of 62 percent compared to the same period last year. April 28, 2020, was the busiest day in the sky as 80,714 flights were in operation on that day. The daily average of flights in April 2020 was 29, 439 but this number was 1,11,799 in April 2019.

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