GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
The airline industry is in big trouble and projected to lose over $113 billion dollars, and Grand Junction’s airport is only seeing 5 flights per day and the very reason why they held a special board meeting touching base on COVID-19 related matters. The Grand Junction Regional Airport flew an average of 2,000 passengers per day, but now, after COVID-19 it’s down to two dozen. Grand Junction Regional’s spokesperson, Joe Burtard says, “Even with the amount of furloughs we’ve seen between the airlines and the rental cars. Everybody seems to have an optimistic outlook on things, which is really encouraging, but the best way to describe it is, it’s just quiet.”
It may be quiet now, but the airport is helping its vendors inluding: rental car companies, concession stands, and hotel shuttles during the COVID-19 pandemic so they can take off when the Coronavirus finally departs. Concession sales are down 95% and a good reason why temporary payment deferrals will be offered for payments due in April through June, to be repaid in July.
The airport is helping its vendors, but who’s helping the airport? The federal government is implementing the CARES Act to distribute $10 billion to help airports survive the Coronavirus.
Before the Coronavirus, the Grand Junction Regional Airport secured flights to Mesa, AZ, Chicago, and even secured service to the West Coast in San Fransisco, and one of Grand Junction’s own just got back from a trip of a lifetime. “I was in Peru serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was called to serve in Piura, and I was there for 70 days, but then because of the Coronavirus, we were sent home”, says Kaylee Fulmer.
Joe is confident the Grand Junction Regional Airport will take off once again after the pandemic. He says revenue seen from cargo planes like FED-EX will help the airport meet their 2020 budget. After all, cargo planes deliver about 10 million tons of essential needs supplies.