Navigating a financial storm

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) Cheyenne Regional Airport hasn't returned to normal operations, but the transportation hub hasn't gone under amidst the virus. The airline industry has come to a halt, and small-town airports are trying to maintain.

"We're not going to see travel like we used to here, I don't think you're going to see travel in this country like we are used to seeing."

Cheyenne Airport saw it's private and commercial flights go from 100 flights a day, now to closed terminals and empty gates for the foreseeable future. With no one flying, the airport is navigating through a financial storm.

"We don't have the demand for it right now. People are not flying. At Denver International Airport, it closed two of the major parking lots, and while we see the demand, we cannot pay for air services for the community without that demand."

Tim Barth says his staff is eager to resume flights in hopes of salvaging the tourist season. Even though the airport can retain all of its employees, the worry doesn't stop there.

"The thing that does concern us is Herz filed for bankruptcy, and the other agencies may file as well, so we may lose car rentals in Cheyenne completely."

With hardly any airport traffic, the lights remain on, but nobody is home in the main terminal of Cheyenne Regional Airport. However, after speaking with Officials, they believe the airport can sustain for another 9 to 12 months.

One cool thing about the airport is we will see an uptake in the smaller airplanes and the business jets. Due to the remarkable change in the airline industry, frequent flyers are shifting away from business travel using video conferences. Aviation officials say we will see more flights for pleasure than we will see people booking trips for business.

"We're still operating at 75 flights a day most of it is for training, and we're still selling some fuel, but that factor is still of detriment to the airport. The volume of fuel may not be as much. We're expecting a $2 Million revenue loss just in fuel sales."

Even without the GrandDaddy of them all this year, Cheyenne Regional Airport still is planning the Thunder Birds show July 27th.