Atlanta airport boss has bleak forecast for what it will take to get travelers back on planes

An empty ticketing counter at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport amid the COVID-19 pandemic, April 29, 2020 (Source: FOX 5 Atlanta).

The Atlanta airport's general manager says it may take a significant medical advancement, like a vaccine, to convince travelers to get back on flights.

Traffic is down at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and around the country by more than ninety percent, general manager John Selden told FOX 5.

It is because of the fear surrounding the viral outbreak and the need to stay a good distance away from the next person. People are angry about being locked inside a jet.

Airlines every day are losing a lot of revenue. Their losses translate to big losses for city hall. With little to no traffic, the share the airport gets from taxis to rideshare, to concessions, as well as fees the airline companies pay are all down or have been deferred. 

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Selden, in a briefing with Atlanta City Council members, said if passenger traffic one year from now has returned to fifty percent of normal "that would be a good place."

The federal government has thrown a lifeline to the city in the form of a grant to cover expenses. Selden said he will advise Mayor Bottoms and the council to draw down $80 million of that money. 

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