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Business Courier: Why CVG has done better than other airports during the pandemic

Cincinnati Business Courier / Chris Wetterich / September 22, 2020

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has recovered a larger share of the passengers and airline seats it has lost during the pandemic compared with other airports in the Midwest and the national average.

Over the last month, the number of passengers through CVG’s front door has been down 65% compared with the national average of 70%, said Bobby Spann, CVG’s vice president for external affairs.

Meanwhile, in October, CVG will have about 56% of the seats on flights that it had a year ago, roughly the same as the national average but more than Cincinnati’s peer regions in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lexington, Pittsburgh and Louisville. Only Indianapolis had a greater percentage at 57%.

The industry also measures future bookings, with CVG down 59% in mid-September compared with the overall industry being down 72%.

CVG has several advantages, Spann said:

  • The robust presence of low-cost carriers Allegiant and Frontier have helped drive CVG to higher passenger numbers, seat capacity and bookings than other airports. Most air travel being done right now is leisure travel. Allegiant’s seat capacity in October is 105% of what it was a year ago. Frontier is at 65%, while American, Delta, United and Southwest are at 46%, 47%, 48% and 49%, respectively.
  • The lower seat capacity in other regions, in turn, has driven people who want or need to travel to CVG. CVG is seeing passengers from a 120-mile radius around it, Spann said.

“We’re capturing traffic from a very large area around us. Our network is in a pretty positive position. “We’re kind of leading the pack in the region,” Spann said. “The bad news is we’re only hitting about 40% of where we were.”

Delta and Southwest have left open all middle seats on their planes. The other airlines do not.

FULL STORY HERE (subscription-based)