ERLANGER, Ky. – The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) continued its forward momentum in 2021 despite turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport said in a press release last week. Whether on the passenger or cargo side of the business, or completing major projects, the airport remained focused on its five-year strategic plan and made significant progress throughout the year, CVG officials said.
“We’ve continued to evolve, adapt and prove our resilience,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer. “We remain focused on our strategic objectives to redefine and elevate the role of the airport in this region.”
McGraw recently was named vice chair of Airports Council International, an organization that represents the collective interests of airports around the world and advocates for excellence in the aviation industry. She became vice-chair of the organization in January, but has been an active member of the ACI World Governing Board since 2018. (Check it out: ACI shared an interview with McGraw on its blog, where she discusses her time on the board and her vision for the next two years.)
McGraw has been at CVG since 2009 and has served as its CEO since July 2011.
CVG recently shared highlights from 2021 and what it expects to accomplish in 2022.
Among 2021’s bright spots:
- Passenger traffic increased.
- The airport served 6.4 million travelers ending the year at 70% of pre-pandemic passenger levels, up from 40% in 2020.
- Alaska Airlines began daily nonstop service and announced additional frequency to Seattle.
- Sun Country Airlines began nonstop service to Minneapolis.
- Airlines restarted eight route options and introduced 11 new route options.
- CVG continued to have the lowest airfares in the region for four years in a row.
- Cargo broke records.
- At the end of 2021, cargo tonnage was up 18% over 2020, and eclipsed 100% growth over the last five years.
- Amazon Air opened its largest U.S. air hub, an investment of $1.5 billion.
- Major construction projects continued unimpeded despite the pandemic.
The new rental car and ground transportation center opened ($175 million).
- Runway 9/27 rehabilitation was completed ($69 million).
- International clearance capability for private aircraft improved with the opening of a new General Aviation Facility ($1.2 million).
- CVG was honored with several prestigious awards: Best Regional Airport in North America (top U.S. airport) by Skytrax; Voice of the Customer recognition by Airports Council International; Best Places to Work in NKY.
- CVG took on the management and operation of the Miami University Airport (OXD).
- CVG launched an online apparel and gifts store, Shop.CVGairport.com, for travelers to further engage with the airport and show off their hometown pride and passion for travel.
In 2022, the airport is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a year-long travel sweepstakes and events throughout the year. Each month, one lucky winner will receive an airfare voucher with one of CVG’s airline partners to make their travel dreams come true. (More info at CVGairport.com/CVG75.)
CVG also will continue airport construction and infrastructure updates in 2022. Terminal improvements to enhance the passenger experience are underway, and Concourse B passenger loading bridges will begin to be replaced. Ramp space will be reconstructed for remote parking needs and to support further cargo growth. Continued taxiway and apron rehabilitation will be completed. Projects to strengthen and support CVG’s air cargo users and footprint will be prioritized.
The airport plans to further diversify revenue by leveraging business partnerships and identifying new opportunities for aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues, it said in a press release.
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