Amid coronavirus outbreak, flights from NYC are still coming into RDU. But, why?

Wake County News

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — While New York City remains the epicenter of COVID-19 here in the US, flights from airports there continue to come into Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The airport said it’s not up to them but the airlines. 

“It was very empty. I’m not used to flights being so empty,” Tatiana Adams was a passenger on a flight from Newark International Airport late Thursday afternoon. 

Her luggage one of two of the baggage carousel for Delta flight 5090. Passengers said there were only 9 people on board. 

“Nobody in my row, nobody in front of me, behind me. It was a select few people,” Adams said.
Adams lives in Raleigh but had been staying with her mom in Newark. She plans to heed the warnings and self-quarantine. She said she was stocked up.

Patrick Heagy, an Uber driver said driving those passengers arriving from NYC didn’t bother him. “No, not at all,” Heagy said.

“Just trying to maintain proper hygiene and hope everybody else does the same as well,” he explained.

“We have lost basically all of our business for the next three months,” Vance Hooper, the owner of Southern Express said.

Hooper said that amounted to about a third of his annual revenue. He owns the motorcoach company based in Apex. He said he’s had to furlough all 42 of his employees. 

“It’s devastating. Really,” Hooper said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in NYC is approaching 18,000, our CBS affiliate in NYC reported. 199 people have died. 

We reached out to the airlines to see what went into their decision to keep flying from NYC. 

In a statement, Delta Air Lines said, “[It] has and will continue to quickly make adjustments to service, as needed, in response to government travel directives.” 

United Airlines said, “the dynamic nature of this outbreak requires us to be flexible in how we respond, provide service and protect our citizens and employees.”

American Airlines said, “We canceled 70% of our operations out of RDU today due to decreased customer demand.”

As for screenings those who come in, RDU said it’s the CDC who decides when and if that happens. The airport told CBS 17 they haven’t been told to do them. 

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