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Quito Airport will be ready to return to full operation whenever the situation allows, according to Andrew O’Brian, chief executive of Corporación Quiport.
While Ecuador has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the airport has to date remained open and operational 24 hours a day to serve cargo flights and repatriation flights.
However, the situation has taken a toll on the commercial operations of the location.
O’Brian explained: “Restrictions on air transport have seriously affected airports around the world with a decrease in passenger traffic to never before seen levels.
“In the case of the Quito airport, the reduction in passengers has reached 90 per cent, while the Covid-19 crisis has also caused a 65 per cent drop in air exports.
“This means that operations must be kept with a minimum of personnel, putting thousands of jobs at risk.”
He added: “Among all the organisations that operate at the Mariscal Sucre Airport, we generate some 8,500 jobs and many of them are in danger.
“We are all making significant efforts not to affect employees.”
Restoring air transport is one of the key factors that will facilitate economic recovery.
Corporación Quiport has been preparing an airport service recovery plan based on the premise that it will be necessary to adapt to a new way of traveling, with new processes and protocols to care for passengers and airport collaborators.
“We are working together with the airlines and other members of the airport community and we already have a plan for returning to activities, probably as of June 1st.
“Naturally, the national Emergency Operations Committee will have the final say,” added O’Brian.
He explained that valuable lessons have been learned while managing repatriation flights about how airport operations should be carried out following the new sanitary requirements.
“Beyond the date of opening of borders and resumption of flights, we are going to be ready, guaranteeing safety and health at the country’s main airport,” he concluded.