Members of the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport Advisory Board were notified on Tuesday by an industry expert that the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the whole travel industry and they believe the country is in an accelerated recovery after the loss of 120,000 airline jobs last year. Board members were told that no fewer than eighteen airlines have either shutdown or gone bankrupt because of the pandemic and the nation overall had 416 fewer domestic non-stop routes as of January compared to pre-COVID levels. Passenger volumes at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, or enplanements, for last month stood at 450, still down from last year, but trend is unmistakably on the rise. Officials say the airport has had passenger loads of 20, 15, 24 — and that’s only continued in the past couple of weeks. They say they really do expect to continue to grow and return to some sort of normalcy. Officials say that they do not expect business travelers to come back anytime soon because of the ability to Zoom. Officials set a projection for 7,400 enplanements for this year at the airport. Officials say they are hopeful that this figure can be reached before year-end if the current trend continues. They say it is still their goal get to 10,000 outbound passengers to be considered by the federal government as a primary airport.