Posts Tagged ‘airline traffic’

Hopkins Traffic Down 59% in 2020

January 25, 2021

As expected 2020 figures for commercial passenger traffic at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport took a deep dive due to the COVID-19 pandemic depressing the air travel market.

Airport officials said 4.1 million passengers used Hopkins last year, a sharp downturn from the previous year when 10.04 million boarded or deplaned at the airport.

The 2020 figures were by far the lowest of the past decade when the previous low was 7.61 million handled in 2014.

Although airline traffic at Hopkins in 2020 was down 59 percent, that was not as bad as the national average of 62 percent based on travel through October, the latest month for which figures are available from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The worst month at Hopkins in 2020 was April when it handled 30,149 passengers, a decline of more than 96% from April 2019.

The best month was December when the airport saw 333,526 passengers. That was still a 59 decrease from the year before.

In looking ahead, Cleveland airport officials expect traffic at Hopkins this year of between 5.2 million and 6 million.

Industry observers are expecting it will take three to four years before air travel rebuilds to 2019 levels. That won’t happen until business travel, which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, begins to pick up.

In the meantime, leisure travel has been a significant chunk of the current air travel market and Florida is among the most popular destinations with several carriers flying hundreds of passengers there every day from Cleveland.

CAK Has Escaped Service Cuts Thus Far

September 9, 2020

With federal emergency aid running out on Sept. 30, airlines have been announcing service cuts and employee layoffs set to take effect in October.

Thus far Akron-Canton Airport has escaped losing service next month by any of its three carriers although officials have indicated that service to the airport remains below what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Airport CEO Ren Camacho said service is now 15 flights a day provided by Spirit Airlines, United Express and American Eagle.

Flights are currently linking CAK with Chicago O’Hare, Orlando, Philadelphia and Charlotte.

“It’s been 20 percent of the traffic then we had before the pandemic began, so we’re averaging about anywhere between three to four hundred passengers a day where we would normally average about 2,000 passengers a day,” Camacho said.

At the depth the pandemic last spring Akron-Canton was seeing as few as 30 passengers a day.

American has announced that it will stop flying to 15 cities next month, which it serves with its American Eagle-branded partners.

None of those cities are in Ohio, but American plans to stop flying to Huntington, West Virginia; Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Airport officials had earlier expressed optimism that service from Akron-Canton would be reinstated this fall to New York’s LaGuardia, Washington Reagan National, Houston Bush Intercontinental and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airports.

They also expect seasonal service by Spirit to return to Tampa and Fort Myers in late fall.

It is unclear how many of those routes will be reinstated during a time when airlines are announcing widespread cuts in scheduled flights for the fall.

Airline announcements have warned of further flight cuts, which could mean Akron-Canton might lose some of the flights it has now.

Although there had been some upturn in leisure air travel during the summer that season has ended.

Security checkpoint figures released by the U.S. Transportation Security Agency show that 711,178 travelers passed through security checkpoints on a recent Monday, a decline of nearly 70 percent compared to the same day in 2019.

In an effort to stimulate travel, United, American and Delta have announced that they are temporarily suspending change fees imposed when travelers change their days of travel or switch to another flight on the same day.

Camacho said restaurant and other concessions at the airport remain open, but at reduced hours.

Akron-Canton received $7.6 million in CARES Act funding and plans to apply to over four years against projected losses of $3 million due to the pandemic.

NE Ohio Service Shrinks to a Hard Core

April 20, 2020

If you are holding a ticket for a commercial airline flight from Cleveland Hopkins or Akron-Canton airports you better not be late for your flight because it might be the only one of the day going where you’re going.

A check of the flight tracking website flightaware.com  found that airline service at Northeast Ohio has withered to small numbers of flights.

On Saturday 27 commercial passenger flights landed at Hopkins and five landed at Akron-Canton.

Both figures are far below the traffic levels that each airport would have seen in early March before travel restrictions and stay at home orders seeking to stop the spread of the coronavirus kicked in and air travel fell a staggering 95 percent.

There might have been even fewer flights were it not for conditions imposed in a federal package of $50 billion in emergency aid to the nation’s airlines that they offer a skeletal level of service.

A review of flights that landed at Hopkins on Saturday, Friday and Thursday of last week found that much of that service was once or twice daily from hub airports including Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway, Nashville, Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston, Washington Dulles, Charlotte, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Denver and Detroit.

This represents a return to the hub and spoke days when major carriers primarily fed passengers to their fortress hubs with little point-to-point service.

On Saturday just one flight landed in Cleveland from O’Hare while two from O’Hare landed at Akron-Canton.

No flights landed in Cleveland on Saturday from Boston, New York-Newark, Dallas-Fort Worth or Orlando.

Over the three-day period, just one flight arrived in Cleveland from Boston and one from Newark.

There were no flights from New York LaGuardia, New York Kennedy or Washington’s Reagan-National airport.

On Friday, 22 flights landed at Hopkins while 27 landed on Thursday.

Over the three-day period, the most flights to Hopkins from any one city was four on Thursday from Chicago O’Hare.

Hopkins saw service from 23 airports over the three-day period, but 12 of those did not have service on all three days.

Service from Florida has been dramatically curtailed with no flights from Miami over the three days, two flights from Orlando (on Friday and Thursday), and single flights from Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Fort Myers and Sarasota.

Service from other cities included two flights from St. Louis and Milwaukee respectively. There was one flight from Baltimore.

A check of airline service at Akron-Canton Airport between Monday and Saturday found there was daily service from Chicago O’Hare, Atlanta and Philadelphia. There was service from Charlotte on all days except Thursday.

One most days, there was just one flight from all of those cities.

The total number of flights landing at CAK was four on Monday, seven on Tuesday, five on Wednesday, four on Thursday, six on Friday and five on Saturday.

The most flights that landed at Akron-Canton from any one airport was three on Friday from Charlotte.

Service from Atlanta was a single flight on all six days, a Delta Air Lines 737 that arrives between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

That same aircraft departs the next morning between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. for Atlanta.

That Delta is using a larger jet on the route is surprising. On many routes diminished bookings have led carriers to assign regional jets with smaller seating capacities that are flown under contract by another airline.

Even before the pandemic, the vast majority of flights to CAK operated in this manner under such brands as American Eagle and United Express flying on behalf of American Airlines and United Airlines respectively.

Service from Philadelphia to Akron-Canton was one flight a day except on Tuesday when two flights operated.

Charlotte service has ranged from one flight (Saturday, Wednesday and Monday) to three flights on Tuesday.

Spirit Airlines has suspended service to Akron-Canton, apparently using the rational that because it is close to Cleveland it is still serving CAK through Hopkins.

But Spirit was rebuffed last week by the U.S. Department of Transportation for an exemption that would have allowed it to temporarily suspend service to Cleveland.

Flight Cuts Coming to CAK in April

March 25, 2020

Significant airline service cuts are coming to Akron-Canton Airport next month when the number of available seats will be slashed by 25 percent or 2,500 seats per month.

United Airlines will suspend service to Houston, end service to Newark and delay the inauguration of service to Washington Dulles Airport.

American Airlines will reduce it daily except Saturday single flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport to once a weekly operation.

Spirit Airlines plans to end a month early its season seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida, but will continue flying to Orlando.

Delta Air Lines plans to change the equipment used on one of its flights to Atlanta from a Boeing 737 to a regional jet with fewer seats. Delta also will reduce flights to twice daily on Saturdays but service will continue to be  three times a day on other days.

All of the service at Akron-Canton aside from that provided by Spirit will be handled by regional jets flown by contract carriers flying under such brands as Delta Connection, United Express and American Eagle.

A news release issued by the airport said eight of the 13 routes flown from Akron-Canton have seen a reduction of seats or a suspension of service.

The airport said it expects to lose up to $1.8 million over the next three months because of a decrease in passengers due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

During week of March 16 the airport handled 50 percent fewer passengers than it did during the same week in 2019.

United expects to reinstate service to Houston on Oct. 1 but has not said when it will begin flying to Dulles. It had earlier announced it was ending service to Newark in May when it planned to launch the Dulles route.

Airport President Ren Camacho said the air service landscape at CAK is likely to look much different once the pandemic has subsided.

“That’s why we are working closely with our corporate partners and leisure travel agencies to relay pertinent travel information to our airlines to help shape that future,” he said in a statement.

Camacho said airport officials are exploring ways to make considerations for airlines, rental cars, advertising partners and others while keeping airport operations running.

Airline traffic at Akron-Canton had been slumping long before the COVID-19 outbreak.

In 2019, the airport saw 834,365 passengers a drop of 9.7 percent from 923,802 in 2018.

In the past five years, airline traffic at CAK has fallen by 44 percent from 1.5 million in 2015.

Much of that traffic loss has been due to airlines pulling service out of Akron-Canton in favor of moving it in many cases to Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Such carriers as Southwest, Frontier and Allegiant gave up serving CAK altogether.

The traffic downturn comes as the airport is working to complete by fall a $34 million gate modernization and expansion that includes a two-level, 41,600-square-foot concourse.

The falling airline traffic has cut into revenues earned from parking, concessions, and passenger facilities fees.

To offset that loss, the airport is eyeing new revenue streams, including leasing unused parking lots for uses other than airport travelers.

Camacho said thus far none of the airport’s 48 workers have been laid off.

Air traffic has also dropped at Hopkins Airport with passenger counts less than half of what they would normally be in March.

Hopkins has thus far avoided wide scale route cuts but flight reductions are expected in April as the carriers implement dramatic flight slashing plans in an effort to save cash.

In the interim many flights are being canceled on some days due to reduced demand.

One flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport reportedly left last week left with one passenger aboard.

With fewer passengers to handle, security at Hopkins has been consolidated into one checkpoint and some retail outlets and restaurants have closed temporarily.

United Airlines has parked several grounded jets at Hopkins following system schedule reductions.

Airline Traffic Up at CLE, Down at CAK in 2019

February 20, 2020

Cleveland Hopkins Airport passenger traffic topped 10 million last year while passenger counts continued to slide at Akron-Canton Airport.

The passenger numbers at Hopkins were up 4.13 percent over 2018 and were the highest they’ve been in more than 10 years.

Akron-Canton handled 834,365 passengers in 2019, down 9.7 percent from the 923,802 recorded in 2018.

In the past five years passenger traffic at Akron-Canton has fallen by 44 percent since 1.5 million in 2015.

Cleveland airport officials say they expect passenger traffic to continue growing this year.

Traffic at Hopkins has been rising steadily – up 32 percent – since 2014 despite United Airlines closing its hub in Cleveland that year.

The high water mark for air traffic in Cleveland was 11.11 million in 2008.

Although some flight destinations lost due to United pullback have yet to be replaced, other carriers have increased their flights out of Cleveland, most notably low fare carriers Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier.

Akron-Canton airport head Renato “Ren” Camacho is optimistic that his airport will rebound from its falling traffic numbers.

However, he acknowledged that the 2019 passenger count was below what airport officials had expected.

Aside from lost flights in recent years, Akron-Canton has been hindered by a decline in business travel, which accounts for 60 percent of those using the airport.

Camacho said airline industry consolidation has hurt boarding at Akron-Canton because there are fewer flights, fewer seats and fewer airlines.

Many carriers continue to focus on their hub locations, he said.

Later this year Akron-Canton will complete a $34 million gate modernization and expansion that includes a bi-level 41,600-square-foot concourse.

Camacho hopes that better facilities will help lure additional passengers, which might translate into more flights.

In recent years Akron-Canton has also expanded a runway, modernized its ticketing facilities, upgraded its entrance road and added a covered parking lot.

It is eyeing non airline service related sources of revenue including parking, restaurants and food options.

“We want the airport to be a place where people can go and congregate, Comacho said.

Although no new service to Akron-Canton is on the horizon, Comacho said American Eagle will add business class service in March to its daily flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

United Express this spring will switch its flights now going to Newark Liberty Airport to Washington Dulles Airport.

In the past week Delta Airline has replaced a mainline jet on one of its three flights between Akron-Canton and Atlanta with a regional jet.

In the meantime, a rehabilitated visitors center at the airport has opened. The center focuses on promoting Stark and Summit counties as a leisure tour destination.

The rehab work at the center included new flooring, display lighting and a desk. Large screen TVs show promotional videos of places to visit such as museums, restaurants, entertainment venues and outdoor recreation facilities.

The videos also promote sporting and other events.

The visitors center is located across from the food court near the airport terminal’s front entrance.

It is jointly operated by the airport, the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Visit Canton, the Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

The cost of the renovation was $175,000 with working getting underway last August.

Icelandair To Continue Flying Through Winter From Cleveland

August 1, 2018

Icelandair will continue flying from Cleveland to Reykjavik in Iceland through the winter, making it the first year-round air service from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to Europe.

Previous service from Cleveland to London and Paris by Continental Airlines was seasonal and that service ended in 2009.

When it announced last year that it would begin flying to Cleveland starting in May 2018, Icelandair did not say if it would offer service through the winter.

Another carrier that also links Cleveland and Iceland, Wow Air, plans to suspend service to Cleveland at the end of October. Wow has not said when it will resume flying to Cleveland.

Todd Payne, chief of marketing and air service development at Hopkins, said both airlines are reporting load factors in the high 80s to low 90s on most flights. A load factor is the percentage of seats on a flight that are filled.

Icelandair offers flights to Reykjavik from Cleveland five days per week while Wow flies the route four days a week.

Airport officials said international travel from Hopkins has increased 12.5 percent for the first six months of 2018 compared with the same period a year before.

In June, the first full month of service to Reykjavik, international passengers were up 61.9 percent over June 2017.

Hopkins Traffic Grew in 7.7% in 1st Half of 2018

July 23, 2018

Traffic continued to grow at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport during the first half of 2018.

The airport said it served 4.7 million travelers during the period, an increase of 7.7 percent over the same period of 2017.

If that trends holds for the rest of this year, Hopkins will have handled 9.6 million passengers this year, which would be the highest number since 2009, when the former Continental Airlines still had a hub in Cleveland.

That hub closed in 2014, four years after Continental merged with United Arlines.

Airport boarding statistics show that 96 percent of Hopkins’ passengers originate or terminate their trip in Cleveland rather than merely pass through as connecting passengers.

During the first half of this year Hopkins has seen new service by Wow Air and Icelandair to Reykjavik, Iceland, while Delta Airlines added a route to Salt Lake City.

United is increasing service from Hopkins by adding flights to the existing destinations of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Orlando.