ORLANDO, FL. – On the second day of the expanded federal travel ban, which affected flights
to Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Orlando International Airport (MCO) leaders
continue to monitor passenger traffic numbers and track changes in air service schedules.
“We have seen a precipitous decrease in air service to the Orlando market because of the
concerns posed by the spread of the Coronavirus,” said Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer for
the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We are working hard to manage the immediate impacts
and develop contingency plans for continued traffic reductions.”
United Kingdom Service
Today is the last day Virgin Atlantic is scheduled to offer outbound-only flights for international
travelers looking to leave the area. The schedule is as listed:
- 6:55 p.m., Manchester
- 7:05 p.m., London
- 8:05 p.m., London
Virgin Atlantic offered the same three flights Tuesday, March 17, which was the first day travel
restrictions prohibited passengers from the United Kingdom and Ireland access to the United
States. As a result of that federal restriction, other airlines offering service to the United Kingdom
and Ireland have canceled flights.
General Flight Activity
While most domestic flights remain operational, MCO has seen a significant decrease in
international traffic. Decreases began last week after the initial federally-mandated travel
restrictions went into effect March 14, affecting flights inbound from the 26 countries in the
Schengen Area of Europe.
With 28 international flights yesterday, a total of 2,270 international passengers were screened
by U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers. That reflects a decrease of nearly 70 percent
compared to the 7,807 international passengers processed the same day last year.
Overall, Orlando International was the busiest airport in the country yesterday for departures
with 47,495 departing passengers.
A total of 1,005 flights were scheduled for today with 54 flights canceled – including 28 arrivals
and 26 departures. Today’s total projected departing passenger count was 44,000.
Based on current estimates, passenger traffic is down approximately 36 percent compared to
last year. Ongoing discussions have been taking place with our airline partners, who are
reporting there is approximately a 30 percent load reduction at this time.