Miami International Airport has received $39.5 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government, as part of the second round of airport grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Second grant follows $207 million in funding MIA received last April from the federal government CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Airport Grant Program – the largest subsidy of any airport in Florida.
MIA used the first grant to support its continued facilitation of essential travel and commerce during the pandemic, and to maintain its role as Miami-Dade County’s primary economic engine.
“I deeply appreciate the federal government’s continued support of MIA and its many service providers, who directly and indirectly support one in almost four jobs in our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. .
“This additional funding will help MIA continue to lead our local tourism industry and economy toward a full recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic.”
Since receiving the CARES Act grant, MIA has grown from its low point of 4,000 daily passengers last April to an average of nearly 60,000 daily passengers for the past 30 days.
During the peak 17-day winter holiday season, from December 21 to January 6, MIA served more than 1.1 million passengers. On January 3, MIA welcomed nearly 90,000 travelers, making it the busiest travel day the airport has seen since the start of the pandemic.
After the pandemic left just five passenger airlines operating at the MIA last April, 29 more have returned or launched new service, including low-cost carriers Southwest and JetBlue which began their first service at the MIA. over the past four months.
Southwest began 12 daily flights in November and JetBlue launched 14 daily flights on February 10.
The airline is expected to generate more than $853 million in local business revenue and 6,800 jobs in the local economy each year, while JetBlue is expected to generate nearly $915 million in business revenue and 7,300 jobs annually.
With daily schedules, JetBlue and Southwest will become two of MIA’s busiest passenger airlines, joining American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
Additionally, MIA’s hub carrier American Airlines announced on Feb. 8 that it plans to provide 16% more seat capacity to MIA this summer than in 2019 and expand service to Tel Aviv and Paramaribo. .
“This latest federal grant provides tremendous relief to MIA and our concession partners as we gradually return our passenger traffic to pre-pandemic levels,” said MIA Director and CEO Lester Sola.
“The CARES Act grant last year helped us reach 50% of our passenger volume year over year, and this additional funding – along with the many air service launches we continue to receive – will keep us on an upward trajectory in 2021.”
MIA also set a cargo volume record in 2020 with 2.32 million tons. The busiest U.S. airport for international cargo also ended 2020 with a record 59,000 cargo-only flights, nearly 8,000 more flights than in 2019.