• The woman died July 24 but her death was just added to the COVID rolls Sunday
  • The woman was in her 30s with underlying health problems
  • A spokeswoman for the Albuquerque airport said the woman was dead before the plane landed

The Texas woman who died of COVID-19 aboard a July flight was traveling from Las Vegas to Dallas aboard Spirit Airlines, the Washington Post reported.

The woman, described only as in her 30s, from Garland, Texas, and with underlying health problems, was dead by the time the flight was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Post said.

Stephanie Kitts, a spokeswoman for Albuquerque International Sunport, told the Post the airport was unaware the woman had COVID, and the case was handled as a regular medical emergency. The death occurred July 24.

Spirit offered its condolences.

It was unclear how many people were aboard the flight or how many were exposed to infection.

Dallas County officials added the woman to the state’s COVID death toll Sunday and initially said she had died in Arizona.

Word of the death comes as airlines try to lure passengers back to their planes. Airlines and airports are considering rapid COVID testing as a way to reassure travelers their flights are disease-free.

The International Air Transport Association estimates 2020 will be the worst year in history for the global transport industry. Losses were estimated at $84.3 billion with revenue off 50%. U.S. airlines reported $11 billion in losses for the second quarter.

“Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. On average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses. In total that’s a loss of $84.3 billion. It means that — based on an estimate of 2.2 billion passengers this year — airlines will lose $37.54 per passenger,” IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.

A second wave of the virus would devastate the industry further.

The United States is adding confirmed coronavirus infections by the tens of thousands daily, with the death toll topping 221,000.