Atlanta City Council to extend relief for airport rental car agencies

In this file photo, a customer checks in at a Hertz car rental counter at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, in Atlanta. Most car rental reservations can easily be canceled or changed up until you pick up the vehicle. If prices fall, you can rebook at the lower rate. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Credit: ajc

Credit: ajc

With travel still down significantly because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Atlanta City Council has approved an extension of rent relief for car rental agencies at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The measure will extend the suspension of minimum rent requirements through June 30, 2021, the same reprieve offered earlier to concessionaires that operate restaurants and shops in the terminal.

Rental car companies will be required to pay only a percentage of their revenue as rent instead of a flat minimum payment per year.

Workers at the airport have experienced job cuts, reduced hours and lost wages. City council documents on the rent relief extension say it is aimed at allowing businesses to "stay open during this pandemic” and pay employees.

The sharp decline in travel has taken a toll on transportation firms, including car rental firm Hertz Corp. which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Hartsfield-Jackson, for years the world’s busiest airport, has budgeted for a steep decline in revenue due to the pandemic.

Atlanta airport general manager John Selden has said a full recovery from the effects of COVID-19 could take two to five years.

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