Due to theme park closures and other COVID-19 related travel cancellations, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is anticipating half the number of travelers will pass through the terminal in fiscal 2020, compared to last year.
According the Phil Brown, the airport's CEO, they estimate 25 million passengers will use MCO by the end of the fiscal year in September, half of the 50 million in fiscal 2019.
Brown spoke during a meeting of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, also saying:
"My expectations is this depressed level of traffic will continue for the remainder of the fiscal year and possibly beyond."
He compared this year to the Great Recession of 2009, saying that this year's "circumstances are much more drastic and more foreboding."
For mid-March, the airport had up to 1,000 flights per day, with only 50 cancellations. The airport is now down to an average of 327 flights per day, with over 130 cancellations.
"The flights have decreased and they will continue to do so, because it takes a lot of money to keep an airplane flying."
Brown added that only a few of the food and service tenants are still open in the terminal, with gifts shops and news stands closed. During the meeting, the authority approved a one-month deferral on rent for airport tenants, and will continue to discuss other options to assist tenants.
Any recovery, Brown concluded, depends on the return of the hospitality and theme park business, but added that there will still be challenges and that he couldn't tell the authority "how deep that hole may be."
Source: Orlando Business Journal