Lots of Summer Leisure Travel at Airport, but Business/International Travelers Down

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A JetBlue airplane is parked outside at the Philadelphia International Airport while people inside the terminal wait for their flight
Image via Tom Gralish, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Philadelphia International Airport is adding more nonstop destinations by the end of 2021, writes Catherine Dunn for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The plan is to up nonstop domestic and international destinations from 95 to 128 by the close of 2021.

Airport CEO Chellie Cameron said the airport is advocating for international travel protocols, like proof of vaccination, to allow those routes to reopen when safe.

The move is part of strategies to win back business and international travelers. That segment of passengers is needed for the airport’s finances to recover.

 “It’s almost all leisure travelers right now,” CEO Chellie Cameron said, and with vaccinations up, she expects a busy summer for that kind of travel.

But when summer winds down, those passengers will disappear.

PHL passenger levels were down 60 percent through February 2021, compared to 2019.

 “We have a long way to go,” Cameron said.

The airport is cutting its budget 2%, or by $3 million, starting July 1. The proposal reflects 100 fewer staff positions.

American Airlines expect Philadelphia to continue being a gateway hub for its flights to Europe, even though current demand is low due to COVID.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about the Philadelphia Airport budget.

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