LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — LAX has seen an 85 percent decline in passenger traffic due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners reported Thursday.
“We have seen airlines reducing their flight schedules significantly,” said Sean Burton, president of the Airport Commission. “This results in a major loss of our revenue and creates a pressing need for us to tighten our belts accordingly.”
The airport has also experienced a 50 percent reduction in concessions revenue and 80 percent reduction in rental car transactions.
The report came as airlines have begun parking grounded planes across Southern California due to the drastic decrease in flight demand.
Since the state’s stay-at-home orders were put in place, Los Angeles World Airports — which operates LAX and Van Nuys Airport — has halted new hiring and contracts, and barred employees from working overtime.
“As part of our proactive and collaborative response to the revenue impacts created by the COVID-19 situation, we have established a LAWA task force on economic impacts,” Burton said.
The task force will work with stakeholders, including labor unions, airlines, and concession tenants to address the economic hardship.
On Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the federal stimulus package includes $400 million for LAX so that it can continue to operate.
The package was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, but still awaits approval from the House of Representatives. It will then need to be signed by President Trump.
The airport has installed more than 300 new hand sanitizers and is using virus- and bacteria-killing disinfectants on “high-touch” areas like handrails and escalators, according to airport officials. FlyAway shuttles and buses at LAX are also being sanitized multiple times a day.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)