Steep Drop In Air Traffic May Mean Painful Cuts At Massport

Logan International Airport. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Logan International Airport. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A steep dropoff in air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic has the agency that runs Boston’s Logan International Airport facing a worse-than-anticipated $400 million budget gap over the next three years, a deficit that could lead to layoffs, top officials say.

“It’s never a good thing to come in below your worst-case scenario and that’s where we find ourselves,” Massachusetts Port Authority board member John Nucci said during a Thursday meeting.

Chief Executive Lisa Wieland warned of painful cuts ahead. The agency that employs 1,350 people avoided job cuts during a previous round of cost-cutting in the spring.

Capital projects that have already been suspended, including a new parking garage, could face further delays.

Logan currently handles 400 to 500 daily flights, down from an average of 1,200 in October 2019.

Since January, the airport has seen 21.8 million fewer air travelers than 2019, a 68% drop, and it may be years before it picks up again.

“This pandemic-induced economic crisis is going to be more prolonged than anyone anticipated for air travel,” Wieland said.

Massport also operates the Conley Terminal and Flynn Cruiseport in Boston as well as Worcester and Hanscom airports.



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