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Logan traffic way down as coronavirus fears spread

The number of passengers coming through the terminals is down 13 percent from a year ago

Crowds were thin at Logan Airport due to the Corona virus Tuesday.
Crowds were thin at Logan Airport due to the Corona virus Tuesday.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Passenger traffic through Logan International Airport dropped considerably last week as the Covid-19 coronavirus took greater hold in Massachusetts and affected global travel.

About 351,000 passengers passed through security checkpoints at Logan between Monday, March 2 and Sunday, March 8 — down about 53,000, or 13.2 percent, from the same week a year ago.

Passenger counts were also down the previous week compared to the year prior, but by a smaller margin of about 4.5 percent.

“All major airports are seeing a reduction in passengers,” said Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan.

She pointed to grounded flights between the US and mainland China in early February, as well as more recent moves by airlines to cancel flights and companies suspending business travel as the disease spreads. Travel between the states and Europe has also dropped off in recent days, especially as the number of virus cases in Italy soared.

The spread of the virus may have interrupted the steady upward growth of air travel at Logan. The airport saw a bump in travel in January of about 8 percent compared to the same month in 2019; passenger counts for the full month of February are not yet available.

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The Global Business Travel Association, a trade group, said it found in a recent survey that member companies had canceled 43 percent of all business travel around the world this March. That survey was conducted between March 4 and 6. The decline is likely to continue as several major conferences scheduled in Boston in the coming weeks have been cancelled.

State officials said Monday that there are now 92 confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus in Massachusetts. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said Logan officials have increased the cleaning regimen and are installing hand sanitizer dispensers at the airport.

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Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.