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Airports Empty, Airlines Losing Millions as COVID-19 Quarantines Widen 

03-23-2020
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Empty Airport

PANAMA – As the world grinds to a halt over the Coronavirus, air travel is becoming more and more difficult. CBN News contributor Chuck Holton lives in Panama and flew home from Reno, Nevada over the weekend and saw what it's like in airports right now.

The Reno airport was a ghost town over the weekend. A few flights were still leaving, but there are very few passengers on those flights, and many of them are being canceled. Stores and shops inside the airport are mostly closed because there's nobody around to buy anything. The employees who are still there to keep the airport running are grateful they can still come to work. But they realize that may not last much longer. 

"My short flight over the Sierra Mountains left on time but with very few people on board, and as we descended into San Francisco it was clear that normally busy freeways are now almost devoid of traffic," Chuck reported. 

The airlines are losing tens of millions of dollars every day as they shut down continues. Chuck's flight from Reno to San Francisco had 76 seats but only nine passengers, and five of those were United Airlines employees positioning aircraft or trying to get home before further shutdowns kicked in. 

The real question is how long can this go on because if it doesn't have a near end date it may be the death knell for some airlines. 

Chuck made it back to Panama within 24 hours of the country shutting down its main airport for the next 30 days, an unprecedented situation.

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose above 250, Panama is hoping to contain the outbreak by declaring a nationwide shut down for the next 30 days.  

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