Sunday, September 20, 2020
By Press ReleaseTransportation

Airport plans to tap stimulus grant as airline schedules show 60% reduction in commercial flights

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Ontario International Airport May Outlook

April 29, 2020, Ontario, CA – Ontario International Airport (ONT) officials expect significantly lower passenger volumes based on flight schedules for May, extending a trend since March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on global aviation.

According to the latest flight schedules posted by carriers, passenger flights at ONT will be reduced by 62.4% in May compared with the same month last year. The reduction means there will be an average of 24 daily departures at ONT during the month, with passenger volumes as much as 90 percent below normal levels – in line with other airports in the state and nation.

The May schedules include a total of 169 nonstop weekly flight departures flown by six airlines to 11 U.S. destinations: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. Daily international service to Guadalajara, Mexico, also is scheduled.

Meanwhile, the May schedules show ONT flights temporarily suspended to Atlanta, Chicago/Midway, Dallas/Love Field, Houston/Intercontinental, New York/Kennedy, Orlando and Taiwan.

“We continue to work closely with the airlines and other airport partners as we navigate through these unprecedented operating conditions,” said Ontario International Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer Mark Thorpe. “As bleak as May appears for the aviation industry, preliminary flight schedules for June and beyond show airlines planning to add back flights as more businesses reopen and Americans begin to resume traditional routines and activities.”

Thorpe noted ONT is eligible to receive about $22 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law on March 27. The CARES Act, the largest economic relief package ever passed by Congress, provided $10 billion in grants for airports.

“We are grateful for the stimulus funds we will be receiving and wish to acknowledge the tremendous support of the Inland Empire’s congressional delegation,” Thorpe said These funds will go a long way to helping ONT meet our financial obligations, ensure airport operations are safe and secure, and allow us to be ready when air travel demand rebounds.”

As a result of lower flight demand, ONT will continue to operate with reduced hours for in-terminal food, beverage and retail concessions. Escape lounges remain closed until passenger service returns to near-normal levels. Likewise, Lots 3 and 5, and valet parking is also suspended for the time being. Customers can still pre-book discounted parking at FlyOntario.com for Lots 2 and 4.

Thorpe said ONT continues enhanced procedures to reduce the potential for germs to spread among passengers and those who work in the airport including more frequent and intense cleaning to disinfect restrooms and other public areas, additional hand sanitizer stations and the use of new passenger screening trays treated with powerful antimicrobial technology to inhibit the growth of bacteria on tray surfaces at TSA checkpoints.

In addition to urging travelers to stay in close touch with their airlines in the days leading up to any scheduled air travel, Thorpe said they should also adhere to public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He noted that San Bernardino County, in which ONT is located, has ordered that face masks be worn in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

ONT also is assessing best practices it can implement to provide a safer, healthier environment for passengers and airline employers even after traffic returns. Thorpe directed passengers, employees and visitors to FlyONTario.com for frequently asked questions about coronavirus impacts at ONT.

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Inland Empire Business Journal
The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.