Cincinnati Enquirer / Randy Tucker / May 20, 2020
Flyers are slowly coming back to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, but officials don't anticipate passenger traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels for at least a couple of years.
In the meantime, the airport could lose between $62 million and $91 million over the next 18 to 24 months as a direct result of the falloff in business related to the COVID-19 crisis, according to figures presented earlier this week to the airport's board.
Airport officials said prudent financial planning has positioned the airport to fly above the virus-related turbulence that cut air service out of CVG by 59% and passenger traffic by more than 90% in April, compared to the same month last year.
“We’re very focused on making sure that when demand returns, this is a financially attractive and cost-competitive place to do business,’’ Dil Gruffydd, CVG's chief financial officer, told board members Monday night.
CVG has $110 million in reserves and is eligible for up to $43 million in government grant money from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) to help pay down debt and cover operating expenses during the pandemic, officials said.
Gruffydd said the CARES allocation and other funds available to the airport could cover operating expenses for 600 days, or more than a year and a half. But he also noted the airport didn't expect to exhaust those funds because of strong financial management.
The airport in Hebron has already implemented a variety of cost-cutting measures, such as consolidating parking at the main terminal and shutting down some passenger lounges.
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