In what could only be described as expected news due to state-mandated travel bans as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, numbers posted to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport show there was a dramatic drop-off in passenger traffic this April as compared to numbers seen the same time last year — a 94.62 percent decrease to be exact.
In April 2019, CVG says 751,278 passengers flew out of its main and other terminals combined. In April 2020, only 40,399 passengers flew out of CVG.
In March, there was a 52 percent drop year over year as the implications of the coronavirus pandemic were becoming apparent and states across the country issued stay at home orders. (In February, before COVID really hit, there was actually an 8.54 percent increase over 2019 as 626,110 passengers made their way through CVG.)
And as passenger numbers have dropped in 2020, airlines have scaled back their offerings as well. According to data presented to the airport's board this week, 53 of CVG's 88 airline routes have been suspended.
“The best knowledge in the industry is somewhere between 18 and 36 months before we get back to 2019 levels,” said CVG CEO Candace McGraw to the Business Courier.
But, as a bright spot, CVG — like other airports across the nation — will get some federal help to sustain operations through the rough patch. CVG will receive $43 million from Kentucky's $77.2 million of the CARES Act earmarked for the state's airports.
“CVG, like all airports and businesses across the country, has been hit hard by the pandemic,” McGraw said in a release about the funding. “I am truly grateful for the leadership of Senator Mitch McConnell to include airport funding in the CARES Act, which is providing necessary economic relief to many struggling industries and families in Kentucky and across the country. Airports are critical in keeping us connected and ensuring our economy remains moving, particularly in times of crisis. Airports assure those with an essential need to travel can do so and that our air cargo partners can facilitate the movement of needed supplies. Airport relief funds provided by the CARES Act are a lifeline to allow airports to remain operational.”
In what could also be a bright spot for people who need to travel, checking the current security line times is a novelty (it's currently 3 minutes to get through TSA) and the airport's Fare Deals page is offering some very cheap flights.
CVG also has a full page dedicated to explaining what they're doing to ensure a healthy travel experience, and what you can do as a passenger.
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