LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – LAX has seen an 85 percent decrease in passenger traffic due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Los Angeles Airport Board of Commissioners reported Thursday.
"We have seen airlines significantly reduce their flight times," said Sean Burton, chairman of the Airport Commission. "This results in a significant loss of our income and creates a pressing need for us to tighten our belts accordingly."
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The airport also experienced a 50 percent reduction in concession revenue and an 80 percent reduction in car rental transactions.
The report came as airlines began parking planes on the ground in Southern California due to the drastic decline in flight demand.
Since state stay-at-home orders went into effect, Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX and Van Nuys Airport, has suspended new hires and contracts, and has prohibited employees from working overtime.
"As part of our collaborative and proactive response to the revenue impacts created by the COVID-19 situation, we have established a LAWA working group on economic impacts," said Burton.
The working group will work with stakeholders, including unions, airlines and concession tenants to address economic difficulties.
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On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the federal stimulus package includes $ 400 million for LAX to allow it to continue operating.
The package was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, but is still awaiting approval by the House of Representatives. Then it must be signed by President Trump.
The airport has installed more than 300 new hand sanitizers and is using disinfectants that kill viruses and bacteria in "high contact,quot; areas, such as handrails and escalators, according to airport officials. LAX buses and FlyAway buses are also disinfected several times a day.
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