GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thousands of airline employees are without a job after Congress failed to make a deal on a coronavirus relief package, and airlines say they can’t survive without making cuts.
Nationally, travel is down roughly 70% from last year. The number of people flying out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport is about 10% higher than the national average.
Some travelers flying out of the greater Grand Rapids area are concerned that losing mass amounts of flight attendants will mean less flights to and from the Ford Airport. But a spokesperson for the airport says not to worry.
“We are not anticipating it,” said Stephen Clark with the Gerald R. Ford Airport. “We stay really close with our airline partners. We’ve actually seen capacity come back into the market. So, we are not anticipating to see anything dramatic.”
The latest travel numbers from August show more than 138,000 passengers at the Ford Airport. That number is down 56% compared to last year, but that’s better than the national average, which is down by about 70%.
“We are still seeing our leisure travelers get out. We’re seeing some business travel return as well,” Clark said.
It’s been good so far for flights at the Ford Airport.
“Obviously our carriers are making business decisions and we will see over the next couple of weeks play out. But if the travelers in West Michigan, they want to get out go, the airlines will be here to service them and we are going to do it safely,” Clark added.
If a deal is made, airlines say employees will get back their jobs.