Pensacola International Airport officials say they aren’t aware of any impact the airport could see from American Airlines announcing plans to cut 17,500 front line workers because of fallout from the coronavirus.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Pensacola International Airport’s number of non-stop destinations went from 25 to eight, but it has risen back to 14 in the last few months, Lewis Garvin, the airport’s marketing manager, told the News Journal.
“We have no indication that today’s announcement from America Airlines will impact (the airport),” Garvin said in an email Tuesday. “We expect to continue to operate as normal.”
American Airlines said Tuesday that it would be going forward with layoffs unless Congress passes an extension of the payroll protection program before Oct. 1. Along with the cuts in October will come cuts to the number of flights.
‘The hardest message’: American Airlines to lay off 17,500 front-line workers due to coronavirus travel slump
CARES Act: Pensacola airport receives $11 million as it braces for long-term impact of coronavirus
Last week, the airline announced it would suspend service in 15 cities in October, but Pensacola was not on the list.
Garvin said American Airlines has had success in Pensacola, offering six non-stop destinations out of the airport.
Pensacola’s airport received more than $11 million earlier this year from the federal CARES Act to make up for lost revenue because of COVID-19.
The travel industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 and Pensacola airport is no exception.
In the first month of the pandemic, the number of daily passengers dropped by 90% but the Pensacola airport has seen a steady increase in travelers over the summer, according to Garvin.
“Normally we would have an average of 3,700 people on any given day going through TSA at this time,” Garvin said. “Looking at a seven-day rolling average from this time last year, we are down 41%.”
Jim Little can be reached at [email protected] and 850-208-9827.