In another sign of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its toll on tourism, the food service provider at McCarran International Airport says it will lay off 940 employees.
HMSHost alerted the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation about the layoffs in a dated letter Tuesday as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Many food and retail outlets at McCarran were shut down after air travel was hit hard as Nevada and other states ordered nonessential services closed beginning in March. Since then, as states have reopened, McCarran and other airports have seen slowly rising passenger volumes, though the numbers are still far below what was seen in previous years.
Although some outlets at McCarran have reopened with limited hours, many remain closed.
“HMSHost continues to see an unprecedented decline in traffic in airports and on the motorways,” the company’s letter stated. “The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the travel and restaurant industries and, unfortunately, HMSHost sits at the crossroads of both. Never in the history of aviation and the hospitality industry, have we experienced such catastrophic customer traffic declines.”
Many of the affected positions are comprised of fast food clerks, baristas, bartenders and restaurant hosts.
The employees who’ve been furloughed since March will be laid off effective Oct. 15 , HMSHost said.
Separately, Sky Chefs Inc., an airline catering company at McCarran, notified DETR on July 31 that it plans to lay off 86 of its employees. Those layoffs will occur on Oct. 1, the company said in its letter.
Sky Chefs warned that because of the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and ever-changing travel restrictions, the number of affected employees could change before the Oct. 1 layoff date.