John Wayne Airport Travel Plunges in December

December 30, 2020 Updated: January 3, 2021

Holiday travel at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, appeared grounded as officials reported a 75 percent drop in the preliminary number of passengers for December.

“John Wayne Airport has faced unprecedented challenges in 2020,” airport director Barry Rondinella said in a statement. “Through it all, the airport team has gone above and beyond to protect the health and safety of our guests, tenants, and employees. We remain committed to ensuring a safe and convenient travel experience for all of our guests.”

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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unusually low numbers of air travelers. Southern California residents are currently under a stay-at-home order, and have been urged by health officials to avoid unnecessary travel. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Meantime, a California Department of Public Health advisory encourages out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days after landing.

A spokesperson for John Wayne Airport said that the airport abides by all CDC guidelines, and air travelers are informed of recommended safety measures, including signs in the terminals, and announcements by the Orange County Health Care Agency over the airport intercom.

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A passenger reads the flight board at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., on Dec. 30, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

On Dec. 30, a lack of crowds made checking in a breeze for passengers such as Jerry Chao, a small business marketing manager. Chao told The Epoch Times that he hasn’t traveled by air all year, but out of necessity, for his work, he is flying to Dallas.

Chao said he was “not too happy” about traveling during the pandemic.

“I’m really concerned about it, but when you have to do something that relates to travel then you don’t have a choice,” he said.

Wendy Bingham, who was returning to Oakland, California, after a Christmas visit, said she wasn’t worried about the flight.

“I work as a doctor and I know the risks,” Bingham told The Epoch Times. “I’m careful. I haven’t got COVID as a medical care provider and I don’t expect to get it on this flight.”

John Wayne Airport officials said airline passenger traffic decreased 67 percent year-over-year in November.