Metropolitan airports commission reports big revenue loss, expert says airfares should remain low | KSTP.com

Metropolitan airports commission reports big revenue loss, expert says airfares should remain low

Jay Kolls
Updated: May 03, 2021 10:40 PM
Created: May 03, 2021 09:37 PM

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) released its 2020 Financial Audit, which showed a huge drop in air passenger travel and a big loss in revenue for the year, which was adversely affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The MAC audit shows revenues in 2019 were $400 million and dropped to about $228 million in 2020.  Included in that declining revenue were losses of $114 million in parking and concessions. Air passenger travel also dipped by 60% in 2020.

Dan Akins, with Flightpath Economics, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, “None of the numbers showing the financial decline is surprising” and “there is a faster-than-expected surge in passenger traffic right now in early 2021.”

“The discretionary, domestic travel, which is going to see your relatives, or going to Florida, or going on a hunting or fishing trip, are the things that are spiking,” Akins said. “What’s not coming back right now is business travel, especially business trips that are international.”

Akins said the key to any airport’s survival is parking and concessions and the precipitous drop in those revenues at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will eventually affect airline ticket prices, but he told KSTP he expects those prices to stay low in the near future.

“As airports, airlines and vendors try to get people comfortable with flying again, they will continue to depress airline ticket prices,” Akins said. “But talk to me next year at this time because the incentive right now is to entice people back and once the demand catches up with supply, you can expect prices to probably go up and that could be reflected in the second and third quarter of 2022.”

Akins said one of the strongest airlines is Delta, and with its contract at MSP running into 2030, it bodes well for the future of the airport.


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