Friday, November 20, 2020

"State officials don’t expect a full recovery for several years, particularly in business travel"

From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin:

"The Massachusetts Port Authority is trimming about 25 percent of its workforce through layoffs and voluntary buyouts as it reacts to an unprecedented plunge in air travel at Logan Airport due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The port authority avoided layoffs in its first big round of budget cuts in the spring, but not this time. The downturn in jet passenger traffic has been far more protracted than Massport executives anticipated, forcing them to plug a new shortfall exceeding $100 million in this fiscal year’s budget.

“We are trending below our worst-case, business-activity forecast at Logan Airport,” Massport chief executive Lisa Wieland told the port authority board on Thursday. “It’s hard, and I hoped we wouldn’t be here. Unfortunately, we are.”

Rather than rebounding as Wieland and others had hoped, the number of passengers actually declined in August from July levels, and again in September. Only about 633,000 passengers were tracked through Logan in September, an 82 percent plunge compared with the same month a year ago. The number of flights, meanwhile, was down 64 percent, year over year."

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From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:
"FACING MASSIVE financial strain inflicted by the pandemic, the Massachusetts Port Authority plans to slash its workforce by about 25 percent through a combination of voluntary retirements, buyouts, furloughs, and layoffs.

The cost-cutting effort comes as Massport officials grapple with a $400 million budget gap projected over the next three fiscal years, driven by passenger volumes at Logan International Airport dropping to their lowest level in decades.

With a current workforce of about 1,300 full-time employees, hundreds of Port Authority employees could take incentivized retirements or buyouts, be terminated, or forced to take several unpaid days off in the coming months.
“If we thought the airport would be coming back soon, maybe we could try other approaches, but we are years, many years, away from getting back to the number of passengers that were carried last year, and we have to be realistic about the right size for our workforce,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said."
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