By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Air travel is making a slow comeback at Miami International Airport as more and more carriers are resuming service to leisure destinations.

Business travel, however, continues to be extremely limited.

Matt Chaifetz, Chief Executive Officer at Contour Aviation, says, “At the height of the pandemic in April, travel had declined by 90 percent. Now, right now it is hovering at 25 percent.”

That’s 25 percent of July 2019 travel. But there are some airline flight resumptions slowly getting back on the arrival-departure boards.

Volaris is reopening flights to Guadalajara. Air Europa is flying to Madrid, Swiss Air is flying to Zurich. Aerolineas Argentinas has resumed service to Buenos Aires and many other major Latin American carriers have been opening up to numerous destinations in Central and South America.

“I think the airlines are going to focus on funneling as much traffic as they can into as few flights as possible over their hubs,” said Chaifetz.

Airlines are attempting to get their system-wide schedules operating as best as possible and serving a slowly increasing demand for leisure travel.

“So much so, United announced point to point service in the northeast and northwest,” Chaifetz said.

“It seems strange but places like Bozeman, Montana have been some of the first cities to have pre-COVID-19 level of service restored.”

“Why? Leisure travelers are seeking cool weather and fresh air. A perceived escape from the pandemic. Also, big sky country is much more appealing than any big city.”

“Airlines have focused on adding flights to leisure destinations, national park areas, places that lend themselves to social distancing.”

Flights to Caribbean nations have increased because many island nations have lifted border bans and flight restrictions.

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