Fewer flights, fewer passengers take bite out of DC’s airports revenue

Revenue collection is sharply down this year at Reagan National and Dulles International airports, with a drop in everything from airlines to parking garages and newspaper stands putting the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority far behind on its budgeted revenue.

For the year to date through August, MWAA reports a total revenue of $339 million, down 35.9% from the same period last year. Revenues are 43% of the annual budgeted revenue.

Total revenue collected from airlines — including rents, landing fees, international arrival fees and the fees airlines pay for use of the mobile-lounge shuttles at Dulles — is 23.2% lower than a year ago.

  • Non-airline revenue is down 46.1% from last year.
  • Food and beverage sales, down 64.4%
  • Retail and newsstand, down 63.3%
  • Duty-free sales revenue at Dulles, down 73.2%
  • Rental car revenue down 44.4%
  • Parking revenue at both airports combined, down 65.5%

Both airports have seen a steady increase in the number of flights being resumed by airlines and travelers flying in recent months, but both airports are still operating below normal capacity.

About 40% of restaurants, newsstands and other concessions at the two airports have reopened, but passenger numbers at both airports in September were still down more than 70% from a year ago.

The Airports Authority’s year-to-date revenue report is posted online.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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