Oklahoma City

Omicron deals setback to travel industry revival – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-12-01 18:33:51 –

Air China crew members in hazmat suits will walk the arrival area of ​​Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday. (The Associated Press Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Travel and tourism-based businesses in the United States and around the world, just set foot after nearly two years of devastation caused by COVID-19, rattled again as the country cast new barriers from fear of Omicron mutants. ..

Oklahoma officials said Wednesday that it was still too early to determine if the fear of the new coronavirus would have a significant impact on travel.

At Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, spokeswoman Stacey Ham said traffic was stable and continued to recover from the 2020 numbers.

“There have been no airport cancellations or issues with the new variant,” says Ham.

According to the latest airport traffic report, 40,154 passengers have traveled to the airport in the seven days leading up to Monday. The highest Sunday traffic was 7,005 and the lowest Thanksgiving day traffic was 3,485.

In the first 11 months of 2021, airport traffic totaled 1,550,268 passengers or averaged 4,655 per day, surpassing all 12 months of 2020, but averaged 6,267 per day in 2019. Did not return to the level of.

The story varied at airports and travel destinations around the world.

Travelers eager to renew their trips from the Sanctuary to the alpine ski resorts have been reverted to the old routine of reading new travel requirements. On the other hand, the World Health Organization reports that the value of the travel ban is limited and “it puts a heavy burden on people and their lives.”

Other experts say that travel bans do not rule out variants, but may give the country more time to vaccinate people.

In particular, the first case of the Omicron variant in the United States was reported Wednesday in California.

At AAA Oklahoma, Leslie Gamble, manager of public and government affairs, said travel advisors are closely watching development.

“It’s too early to say how (omicron) affects vacations and travel abroad, or if it does,” she said.

According to Gamble, anyone planning an overseas trip is encouraged to work with a knowledgeable expert who can guide you through the complex and rapidly changing landscape of your trip.

We also recommend a travel insurance policy that includes a “Cancel Anytime” component. Gambling said it would provide more flexibility and protection in case the traveler needs to cancel the trip.

According to a report from the Associate Press, Abbey Moore, a librarian and associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was scheduled to leave for Prague on Wednesday, but was skeptical when she saw Prague ending Christmas. The day before it started, it imposed restrictions on the market and the city as a whole.

“I wasn’t really worried about my trip until the Czech Republic started what looked like a mini lockdown process,” Moore said.

She decided to change her travel schedule to March.

The US government has banned most foreigners who have recently stayed in any of eight countries in southern Africa, less than a month after significantly relaxing restrictions on international travel. Similar boomerangs were found in Japan and Israel, both of which tightened restrictions shortly after relaxation.

It’s not clear where the variant emerged, but South African scientists identified it last week, and many places, including the European Union and Canada, have restricted travel from larger areas.

Little is known about epidemics, including whether it is more contagious, causes more serious illness, or can avoid vaccines for all warnings.

London-based airline EasyJet said Tuesday that the updated travel ban seems to have already hurt winter bookings, but CEO Johan Lundgren said the damage wasn’t as serious as the previous wave. Stated. The CEO of SAS Scandinavian Airlines said winter demand had been reviewed, but the outlook has been dim since then.

Helane Becker, an analyst at financial services firm Cowen, said:

Similar events are occurring at hotels around the world that have recovered faster than expected.

“Every time there is a variation, as soon as it’s cleared a bit (leisure trip), it goes back very quickly. The business trip is a little more uncertain,” said Ali Klein, a hotel analyst at BMO Capital Markets. increase.

Travel agency executives argue that the government’s regulatory decision should wait until more is known about Omicron, but admits it is a difficult call.

Robert Jordan, the next CEO of Southwest Airlines, said: “If we go further, there is a risk that the measures will have a greater impact than in the actual case.”

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