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Airport travel increases dramatically over past year

The Columbia Airport has seen a near 400% increase in traffic in 2021.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — More and more people are taking off from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE). 

While they never shut down during the pandemic, the airport definitely experienced lower numbers of travelers in 2020. But, with many continuing to be vaccinated, traffic is increasing at CAE.

“It’s good to see everybody back in the airports again," Kyle Richard told News19 Sunday. Richard only took a few months off of traveling for work but says as more time passes, more people are filling up airline seats, "the restaurants are back open in the airports, the bars are back open in the airports and the planes are full again so it’s good to see everybody back.”

According to Kim Jamieson at CAE, May of 2020 saw around 7,000 passengers boarding planes while May of 2021 saw over 36,000 passengers. That’s around a 400% increase in flyers.


“I am excited and I think everyone should be getting excited," says Tanya Aiken who is heading to Nevada with her husband. “To get out again put the money back into the economy and just be excited to be out you know!”

“The airports feel kind of less scary," Mike Weis tells us. Weis travels every weekend for his job, “I’ve seen an increase in travel obviously in the past couple of weeks and … I like it!”

RELATED: American Airlines to resume flights between Columbia and Miami

With nonstop flights to Miami, Dallas, Philadelphia and more, CAE is getting back to normal business. 

New York City is the last non-stop flight from CAE that hasn't yet resumed since the pandemic.