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The chief executive at DFW Airport says domestic traffic dropped 50% in August from August of 2019, and international travel has dropped 80%.

Early Thursday, the airport’s board adopted a $16 million package of incentives to “support international air service recovery and hasten return to service from carriers that discontinued service or reduced capacity on international routes to DFW on or after April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 due to COVID-19.”

“It will make, especially, Terminal D busier, which is a good thing for our concessionaire partners,” says DFW Chief Executive Sean Donohue. “Plus, typically, international passengers tend to spend more money.”

Thursday, the DFW Airport board received an update on finances and how CARES Act funding was being used. Chief Financial Officer Chris Poinsatte says DFW had $170 million in funding available, but had only used $144 million through the end of this fiscal year.

“Because we’ve cut costs so much more than we planned, and revenues are a little better than we expected, we are not going to have to draw any more down,” he says.

Poinsatte says the remaining $26 million could be used in the next fiscal year if necessary.

Donohue says leisure travel after Labor Day was stronger than expected, but business travel was still “quite weak.” Despite the drop in travelers, he says numbers at DFW are still better than most airports across the United States and around the world.

“As we have led the recovery in domestic flights, we want to be at the forefront as international flights start to return, hopefully next year and in 2022,” Donohue says.

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