A travel update from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) during COVID-19

American Airlines plane
American Airlines plane boarding at CAE | Photo via Columbia Metropolitan Airport on Facebook

Morning, COLA. We got an insider update from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) Executive Director Mike Gula on how the airport is doing + what air travel looks like right now. Want to share your voice in an upcoming newsletter? Learn more about contributing to COLAtoday.

2019 proved to be the best year Columbia Metropolitan Airport had seen in over a decade. With 1.3 million+ passengers traveling through the airport, air cargo on the rise, terminal updates taking place + strong community engagement, CAE was cruising on all cylinders.  

But – like all industries worldwide – aviation was hit unbelievably hard by COVID-19. To say this season has been a devastating one would be an understatement. The stats have been staggering:

  • In April, all air travel worldwide was down 95%
  • Business travel is currently down 90%
  • Globally, the aviation industry has lost $84 billion since March. 

For CAE:

  • Parking revenue is down 57%.
  • Airline revenue is down 31%
  • Tenant revenue (read: rental cars, retail + concessions) is down 30%.
  • CAE is projected to close out the year with only 246,000 enplanements + lose $8 million in revenue.

The Columbia community has proven time and time again to be resilient, and we will bounce back from the effects of COVID-19. 

For those considering flying again, CAE needs you now more than ever. And rest assured, we’ve done everything we can to make your trip as safe as possible:

  • increased sanitization measures
  • free masks for travelers
  • PlexiGlass barriers at ticket counters
  • distance markers throughout the airport

Flying is not only safe – it supports one of the area’s largest economic engines. When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to get Columbia back to flying + back to business. 🌎

–Mike Gula, Executive Director of Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)  

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