The airport is optimistic that a grant application that enables the new route will be successful.
SWANTON, Ohio – COVID-19 has impacted airports across the country – perhaps unsurprisingly as many potential passengers are reluctant to board planes and airlines are forced to restrict seats for safety reasons.
Many airports have even completely lost service.
Joe Cappel, vice president of business development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, says Toledo Express never completely stopped services but had to make some adjustments, including closing certain routes.
But things are starting to recover.
“You have suspended the service twice in Chicago, but we are happy to announce that it will be available again in June,” said Cappel. “So we’ll go back to everything we had in 2019 before the pandemic.”
Last April, at the start of the pandemic, only 1,518 passengers flew through the Toledo Express. This April, 14,448 passengers flew over the airport.
“It’s a huge increase and it shows that when more people get vaccinated, things will go back to normal,” said Cappel.
To get more locals to travel on Toledo Express, the airport is hoping a new grant will give them the money they need to add an American Airlines service to Dallas Fort Worth.
“We’re already connected to Charlotte, already to Chicago. This would be a third major American Airlines hub that would serve even more destinations from Toledo that are just one stop away,” said Cappel.
Cappel said he hopes to hear if the grant application is successful by the end of summer and that he is optimistic it will come through.
In the meantime, Cappel says the more people use the airport, the better they can provide the service.
“We encourage everyone to fly locally. You know, check out Toledo first for business or pleasure. With filling these planes and this exciting service, it only helps as we move on to a new service.”