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LAX Passenger Traffic Down 90% Amid Pandemic Travel Slump

Passenger traffic through LAX is down more than 90 percent over this time last year as travelers cancel trips amid the coronavirus outbreak Los Angeles World Airports
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The coronavirus outbreak has brought business at the nation’s second busiest airport to a near halt. Passenger traffic through LAX on March 31 was down 90% from the same day last year, an official told board members of the Los Angeles World Airport — the governing body of LAX — during a video conference meeting Thursday.

That’s a drop from 104,433 passengers in 2019, to a mere 7,966 passengers on Tuesday.

LAX management is working to keep its employees and those who work for concessions and at construction sites at a safe distance from each other. The airport is also trying to reduce expenses, so it has cut or reduced bus and shuttle trips, and combed through contracts to see which can be altered, postponed or canceled during the pandemic.

Beginning in May, airlines will publish greatly reduced flight schedules, LAWA Interim CEO Justin Erbacci told the city’s Board of Airport Commissioners. Airlines will continue with their currently published schedules through April, however, they are canceling many flights because so few passengers are flying, he said.

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If you are flying, be sure to check with your airline to make sure the flight is still scheduled, and be prepared to make backup plans in case of a cancellation.

Some LAX changes:

  • Flyaway bus service to LAX has been reduced from Van Nuys and suspended from Long Beach and Hollywood.
  • Airport and concessions employees who used the Flyaway bus have to find other ways to get to LAX. Those who drive in are temporarily being allowed to park in the central terminal parking structures to limit their crowding onto employee parking lot shuttles.
  • The airport is allowing a maximum of 15 people at a time on shuttle buses for employees, terminal-to-terminal rides and rides to the LAX-it rideshare lot.
  • Lower passenger numbers mean airport concessionaires are struggling as well. One business has closed because an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. The airport did not name that business.
  • Rental car companies are doing very little business and they are having difficulty finding places to park all those un-rented cars. Airlines are also working with LAX to find places to park unused jets. LAWA is working to help find space to park planes and cars.
  • Only a few hundred international travelers are coming into LAX per day. It’s so few that all health screening of those passengers has been moved to the Bradley International Terminal. Previously some screening was also being done in other terminals that receive international passengers.