Tomorrow is our weekly special meeting of the Board of Airport Commissioners. At that meeting, the Board will be considering proposals for temporary financial relief for our airline and concession partners in response to the reductions in revenue caused by COVID-19. Due to the pandemic and the resulting reduction in passengers, concession sales revenue is down between 80 and 90 percent compared to the same time last year. Our rental car partners are also feeling the impact of COVID-19, with rental car sales revenue down almost 90 percent compared to last year. The board will be considering several agenda items aiming to provide temporary assistance to our partners. You can find the agenda for tomorrow’s BOAC meeting and watch a livestream of the meeting, which begins at 10:30 a.m., here.
Our airlines also continue to be impacted by COVID-19. Today, TSA announced that they screened a record low number of passengers yesterday, with fewer than 100,000 people screened at airports across the nation. On average, they only screened 220 people per airport — a drop of 95% from the same day last year. At LAX, we are seeing a similar percentage reduction in passengers this week, averaging around a 95% reduction compared to the same day last year. This continues to have a significant impact on our revenue and means continued diligence in addressing our budget.
Due to the reduction in passengers right now, JetBlue announced it would be consolidating regional flights to LAX, and dropping down to five flights a day at our airport. As I mentioned yesterday, we expect that other airlines will also be reducing service. As we learn of these changes, I will share them with you, and we will assess if there are any opportunities to further consolidate our operations.
Finally, as we ask all employees who are out in the public to wear a face covering, I also want to make sure that everyone knows the current best practices for the use of cloth face coverings. Just as important as wearing the face covering is making sure that we are doing so properly and in a way that doesn’t cause additional contamination or spread germs. The California Department of Public Health has these guidelines:
- Face coverings can be made out of cloth, be factory-made or hand-sewn, or improvised using bandannas, scarves, T-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.
- The material should cover the nose and mouth.
- Ideally, face coverings should be washed after each use. Dirty masks should be placed in a dedicated laundry bag or bin.
- Use detergent and hot water when washing cloth masks, and dry them on a hot cycle.
- Be sure your mask is comfortable; you don’t want to have to keep adjusting the mask because that means touching your face.
- Wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after touching your face or face coverings.;
- If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing it, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face.
We are all learning together as we adjust and adapt to new guidance from public health officials. At the core of these directives is the desire to keep people healthy and reduce the spread of germs. Thank you for being diligent in wearing your face covering properly and washing it daily. Together, we can fight COVID-19 and reduce the spread of the virus during these critical peak weeks.
Interim CEO, LAWA