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More Airports Offer Relief To Struggling Operators

With the effects of COVID-19 continuing to ravage the industry, several more airports have taken steps to mitigate the challenges faced by their business partners.

AXN has reached out to the largest airports in the U.S. and Canada to find out what relief they are offering concessionaire partners. A compilation of those offerings can be found here: https://airportxnews.com/airportactions/

Los Angeles World Airports has set up multiple task forces to address the economic impact of the pandemic, including one working on the potential need for relief for concessions operators, says spokesman Heath Montgomery, adding that the airport has a lot of contracts to work through. Some operators already have reduced hours or temporarily closed, though food and retail options remain available in all terminals, he adds. Ultimately, any relief for operators will be determined by the Board of Airport Commissioners, he says.

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) has waived its minimum annual guaranteed rent through June 30, switching for now to a percentage of gross sales. Some of its shops and restaurants have closed or reduced hours for the time being, spokeswoman Nancy Volmer tells AXN.

At McCarran International Airport (LAS), operators are being allowed to close or change hours of operation or staffing, as it warrants, says Christine Crews, a spokeswoman. “Right now, we are focusing on the immediate operational needs and will be assessing space rent agreements as we move forward,” she says. “This is a very dynamic and unprecedented situation.”

Dallas Love Field (DAL) has eliminated MAG and gone to percentage rent. The airport’s concessions are operating on limited hours and, since March 17, the dining rooms in the sit-down restaurants have been closed in accordance with city and county guidelines.

“We’ve also moved the tables at least six feet apart in the concessions village, which is all fast-food or grab-and go,” says airport spokesman Chris Perry. “Some of the sit-down restaurants are doing to-go only and are able to sell alcohol provided that food is purchased with it.”

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) is assessing each individual situation independently. “We value all our concession partners and we are working with each of them to best accommodate their needs as the impact of COVID-19 continues to impact the global economy,” says airports spokeswoman Krista Kealey.

Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York – New Jersey, didn’t specify relief efforts, but indicated that the body is aware of the distress on both operators and on airport workers displaced by COVID-19.

“Last week, we made clear in our ask to the U.S. Congress the need for federal aid in this crisis,” he says. “We will soon be determining near-term actions to address this profound crisis for airports.