Business for Hertz bus driver Salim Kizito at Bradley International Airport is more than just idling, its all but hit the brakes.
“So far I still have a job but some of my fellow drivers are out, Kizito said.
On a normal Friday in March, Kizito says he’d see about 300 customers, but new numbers released Friday by the Connecticut Airport Authority show a significant drop in passenger traffic.
“We have been averaging about 80% down but we have had days where it’s been over 90% down as compared to the same time a year ago,” Kevin Dillon, the executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority said.
While Dillon says Bradley International Airport is seeing a significant impact in passenger traffic, its revenue comes from airlines, retail shops, concessions and rental car operations. Dillon says the revenue from those businesses, Bradley’s own reserve and $10 billion in funds just made available Friday through the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill to maintain commercial airports will keep Bradley afloat.
“Out of the $10 billion, $7.4 billion of it is going to be provided to airports for any lawful purpose meaning there’s no restriction,” Dillon said.
After the funds are distributed through the FAA, Dillon says Bradley will receive millions of dollars as a result of the aid package.
Bradley’s numbers coming a day after Metro-North reported historic ridership levels dropping as much as 94%. The railroad now starting an “Essential Service” schedule Friday on the New Haven line as the CTRail Hartford Line and Amtrak Trains continue to operate on Saturday schedules.
“We don’t know where we are going but I hope God will help us get through this,” Kizito said.
Dillion says right now Bradley has enough reserve funds for at least the next year and a half and expects airport traffic to be back on the rise in a reasonable amount of time.
“We have every reason to believe that once activity calms down the market here Bradley will bounce back very quickly,” Dillon said.