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Akron-Canton Airport keeps flying through COVID-19 pandemic

Despite cuts, passengers are increasing
Passengers walk through Akron-Canton Airport
Posted at 3:34 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 16:06:28-04

AKRON, Ohio — As we get closer to October, airlines have been announcing planned cuts. As that happens, airports are watching to see how they will be impacted.

As of October 1, United, American and Spirit have announced cuts, but the Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) is not among them so far. Right now, those three airlines are still flying out of CAK daily, but they are at a reduced capacity. According to CEO Ren Camacho, the airport has about 15 flights a day, down from 25.

"It's been 20% of the traffic then we had before the pandemic began, so we're averaging about anywhere between three to four hundred passengers a day. Where we would normally average about 2,000 passengers a day," says Camacho.

The number is also an improvement from the beginning of the pandemic; on its slowest day, the airport had 30 total passengers.

With many local companies implementing travel restrictions, the majority of the airport’s current business now comes from leisure travelers. Camacho says the airport doesn’t expect business travelers to return until at least next year.

With fewer travelers, concessions have reduced their hours, but the restaurants are still open.

To help offset financial losses, the airport did receive $7.6 million from the CARES Act. It’s money Camacho says CAK will need to deploy strategically.

"The airport projected to lose about three million dollars due to the pandemic, so if you do the math, over the four-year window that seven-point-six million is going to have to be very strategically used," Camacho said.