CAK Seeking Funds to Win Back Air Service

Akron-Canton Airport continues to see just three flights to three destinations and is seeking funding to try to entice airlines to reinstate service suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airport officials are hoping to get a portion of the $10 million fund established by JobsOhio to regain air service lost during the pandemic.

In recent weeks, CAK has averaged 100 passengers a day on single daily flights to Philadelphia, Charlotte and Chicago (O’Hare).

Airport President Ren Camacho said in a presentation to the Stark County Port Authority that local matching funds are needed in order to tap funds from the JobOhio air service restoration fund.

If Akron-Canton can secure $100,000 in local money it would be matched by $400,000 from JobsOhio.

“Travel is slowly resuming,” Camacho said. “We are limited by capacity at this point.”

Before the pandemic, CAK averaged 25 flights a day. Last year the airport handled 830,000 passengers, an average of more than 2,200 a day.

This year, the Akron-Canton Airport is on a pace to lose $2.9 million although some of that will be offset by $7.6 million from the federal CARES Act.

Camacho wants local chambers of commerce and other economic development groups in the Akron-Canton area to make “airline incentive partnership” donations.

CAK officials are hoping to entice back service to New York (LaGuardia), Atlanta, Houston and Orlando that existed before the pandemic began.

The local and JobsOhio funding could be used for seat and revenue guarantees and marketing dollars.

Thus far no local agency has agreed to donate any funds to CAK.

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