Alaska plans to present vacationers entry to vaccines this summer season
The state of Alaska will start providing free COVID-19 vaccinations to vacationers at airports in Alaska this northern summer season. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy made the announcement on social media this weekend.
Free COVID vaccinations at 4 Alaskan airports this summer season
Funded by federal stimulus funds, all passengers arriving at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau or Ketchikan airports from June 1 may be vaccinated totally free. The state of Alaska has been providing its personal residents free vaccinations since early March. Alaska will now be a part of 21 different states providing non-residents entry to COVID-19 vaccinations.
If you wish to get there early, later this month there will likely be a five-day under-the-radar check drive at Anchorage Worldwide Airport. This trial will assess vacationers’ curiosity in free vaccinations and assist iron out wrinkles forward of the June rollout.
The choice has been criticized. Some consultants say that the free distribution of vaccines to non-residents encourages vaccine tourism. Others say it’s eradicating vaccines from different states the place there’s a nice want for them. Governor Dunleavy says that is solely a part of a multi-pronged technique to revive the Alaskan tourism trade.
“We consider there’s a actual alternative to get folks to come back to Alaska”, Governor Dunleavy mentioned final Friday. “Come to Alaska, get your free shot in order for you one. You do not have to pay for it; we’ll have issues arrange on the airport. If you would like one, we’ll enable you to. In order that’s one other good purpose to come back to the state of Alaska this summer season.
– Governor Mike Dunleavy (@GovDunleavy) April 16, 2021
The state’s namesake airline, Alaska Airlines, says domestic passengers currently do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before flying to Alaska. However, the airline notes that some areas of local government, including Juneau, Petersburg and Wrangell, have entry restrictions for passengers arriving from elsewhere through the United States. Alaska Airlines flies to 14 destinations in the state.
While not without controversy, Governor Dunleavy’s decision is a concrete attempt to revive Alaska tourism and increase air traffic to the state. It is also relatively simple.
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Airlines play important role in boosting Alaska’s economy
Tourism in Alaska generates billions each year and represents one in ten jobs. As tourists flock to Alaska on cruises, they mark these cruises with stays in cities like Juneau and Ketchikan, spending money there. Normally, over two million people visit Alaska each year.
Most of these travelers fly. According to the Department of Transportation, Alaska Airlines has 73% of the market for domestic flights in Alaska. After Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines has a 12% market share, American Airlines 3.5% and United Airlines about 3.2%. Alaska Airlines is operating approximately 80% of its 2019 capacity in Alaska this summer.
“We are optimistic it will be a good summer for traveling to Alaska,” The Anchorage Daily News recently quoted an Alaska Airlines spokesperson. Other airlines have also shown renewed interest in Alaska in recent times. United Airlines will launch a new non-stop service between Anchorage and Minneapolis-St. Paul this summer. American Airlines poses on 787 Dreamliners in Anchorage from Chicago and Dallas. Delta Air Lines is also significantly stepping up its summer services to Alaska.
After a difficult 2020, Alaska airports are now experiencing a resumption of their activities. Alaska’s major airports are optimistic this summer will be exceptional. Fairbanks International Airport expects to handle approximately 33% more domestic passengers this summer than in 2019. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport now sees indoor seating capacity at 90% of 2019 levels. These are encouraging statistics. Governor Mike Dunleavy hopes his latest move will further improve those statistics.
Would a free COVID-19 test when you arrive in Alaska encourage you to fly there? Post a comment and let us know.