New data underscore COVID impact on airport finances

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has seen its year-to-date revenue from airlines decline more than 23 percent, according to new figures, with revenue from sources indirectly related to aviation service declining 46 percent.

In the January-to-August period, total revenue from airline operations was $181.6 million, down from $236.4 million during the same period in 2019, according to figures reported to the authority’s board of directors.

Declines were reported in all segments that make up that total, counting both Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport:

Rents paid by airlines for use of airport facilities dropped 10 percent to $138.8 million.

  • Landing fees dropped 45 percent to $36.7 million.
  • International-arrival fees dropped 68 percent to $3.6 million
  • Fees paid by airlines for use of mobile-lounge service at Dulles dropped 38 percent to $2.4 million.

The declines showcase how major the drop-off in travel was after the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, which crippled air travel for several months. Even now, passengers counts at most of the nation’s airports have not returned to 50 percent of last year’s totals, in part due to huge declines in travel to many international destinations.

When it comes to revenue related to, but not directly coming from, airlines, the $157.4 million received by the authority in the first eight months of the year was down 46 percent. Declines included:

  • A drop of 64 percent in revenue related to food and beverage sales and a drop of 63 percent in fees related to retail/newsstand sales.
  • A drop of 44 percent in fees related to rental cars.
  • A drop of 60 percent in fees associated with ground transportation.
  • A drop of 66 percent in parking revenues.
  • A drop of 42 percent in fees associated with in-flight kitchens.
  • A drop of 60 percent in fees associated with ground transportation.
  • A drop of 73 percent in fees related to duty-free shopping.

(Those declines represent 2.5 months pre-COVID and 5.5 months from the start of the pandemic.)

Total revenues for both airline and non-airline sides of the authority’s Aviation Enterprise Fund were just under $339 million for the first eight months of the year, down 36 percent from $528.6 million during the same period in 2019.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

 

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