Limited airline service in and out of New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport is expected to resume on Thursday, Sept. 2, as Louisiana continues the fight against the devastation of Hurricane Ida.
Much of the region, particularly in the Big Easy, is without power and water.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, all flights have been canceled for at least the last three days.
Delta Air Line is scheduled to resume limited flights to Louis Armstrong on Thursday, and JetBlue and Spirit Airlines expect to resume flights on Saturday, Sept. 4.
Officials told the newspaper that Jefferson Parish, where the airport is located, has prioritized restoring electric and running water to Louis Armstrong. Runways, taxiways and terminals sustained little to no damage from Ida.
Now the question is, after the second major hurricane in 16 years following Katrina making landfall in 2005, when will tourism return?
New Orleans has a very tourist-based economy, and it took a decade for tourism numbers to return to The Big Easy following Katrina. According to CNBC, in 2004, a record 10.1 million people visited New Orleans, spending more than $4.9 billion on hotels, restaurants and local attractions. After Katrina hit a year later, the number of tourists shriveled to 3.7 million, down a startling 63 percent in 2006. Spending also dropped 42 percent.
It finally got back to pre-Katrina levels in 2014 when more than 9.5 million visitors traveled to New Orleans, pouring $6.8 billion into the local economy.
Will it take another decade this time?
Even greater than the powerful storm itself back in 2005, a huge problem in New Orleans was massive and devastating flooding after the city’s levee system broke down. New Orleans revamped the levees and is hoping the flooding wasn’t nearly as overwhelming with Ida from the weekend.
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