PHILADELPHIA - COVID-19 has impacted practically everything, especially when it comes to traveling. From trains to planes. Philadelphia International Airport was part of it. The airport suffered some of the economic downfall. The question is how does the airport move forward, now that air traffic is beginning to take off?
“We’re ready, we’re ready to receive our guests,” said James Tyrell.
But, are guests ready to come back and will the airlines have the same capacity as before?
American Airlines plans to cut some 19,000 jobs by October 1st when the federal stimulus ends.
James Tyrell is the airport’s Chief Revenue Officer. While he says he can’t speak directly to American Airlines plans, the amount of flights and traffic at the airport has been significantly reduced.
“As of today, we will have operated 222 daily flights. On a normal day, pre-COVID, we’d been upwards around close to 500,” Tyrell explained. “Not anywhere near pre-COVID levels, but all-in-all coming back and dealing with being able to welcome our guests back in a safe and secure manner.”
He says while he can’t control the potential layoffs with a particular airline, staffing at the airport itself has remained steady.
“There are 21,000 badged employees at the airport, only 1,000 of them are city employees and, of those, about 800 work for the Division of Aviation. We are still maintaining the same level of employees that we had before the virus hit,” Tyrell said.
Alicia Hall is moving back to Philadelphia after 13 years. She says inside the airport, traffic is slowly picking back up.
“It was, actually, pretty busy, so definitely more traffic than when I flew into Philadelphia back in July. Oh, wow, probably a 50 percent increase,” Hall commented.
Crystal Mays and her friend say, as far as they’re concerned, the flying experience has been good to them in and out of Philadelphia.
“It’s great. It’s a process. However, it’s still a nice flow. It’s not very strenuous. It’s smooth and I like that,” Mays remarked
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