With Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) already exceeding pre-pandemic passenger volumes, the airport’s Board of Commissioners today approved an enhanced incentive program to spur additional international flights, increase competition among carriers and make the airport more competitive with other international airports in the region.
Confident about ONT’s ability to attract airlines and air travelers, officials announced incentives to create new non-stop service to unserved destinations outside the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including the waiver of landing fees and terminal rent along with support in marketing the new routes. These enhanced incentives are available immediately for eligible routes.
“Ontario International’s capacity to handle more passengers, together with its strong financial position and growing customer base, afford us the opportunity to expand our incentive program at this critical moment in aviation history,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners. “Our Southern California gateway is already operating at higher passenger levels than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the airport is in a great position to handle even more passengers.”
Under the updated Air Carrier Incentive Program (ACIP), ONT will continue to waive 100% of landing fees and terminal rent during the first 12 months of service to eligible destinations, and will now provide a 50% waiver of those fees for a second 12-month period after that. The incentives apply to airlines that initiate flights at least twice a week on a year-round basis to any international destination outside the United States, Canada and Mexico that is not already served nonstop from ONT. Eligible carriers offering seasonal service must operate an average of two roundtrip flights continually for six months.
Incentivized services must be initiated between May 26, 2022 and June 30, 2024.
The OIAA will also support the new services with financial resources for advertising and marketing to potential travelers.
“Domestic travel has been responsible for much of Ontario’s recovery to date. Today’s action is designed to further accelerate our airport’s recovery by increasing international services,” said Atif Elkadi, OIAA Chief Executive Officer. “Many airports continue to struggle in working through the effects of the pandemic on global air travel. Ontario International, however, has experienced higher than pre-pandemic passenger volumes for the past two months, and the Board is increasingly confident that our international gateway will continue to lead in its recovery mission in the months and years ahead.”
A maximum of 10 incentive packages are available under the terms of the updated ACIP, with one package available to each of 10 routes to currently unserved destinations. All air carriers are eligible for the program, including those already operating at ONT and any new entrants at the airport. This program is in addition to existing incentives that OIAA offers to targeted unserved destinations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
OIAA estimates that non-aeronautical revenues (such as parking, food and beverage, retail and duty-free sales) generated by the new flights will offset waivers of the landing fees and terminal rent.