The Airport Restaurant and Retail Association (ARRA) and the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) are jointly calling for airports to institute an immediate moratorium on the issuance of solicitations for new concessions (RFPs and RFQs), and a suspension of solicitations currently in progress, pending the end of the pandemic.

In a letter being sent Friday to airports in the United States and Canada, the two trade groups said they are appreciative of airports taking initial steps to help mitigate the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on airport concessions.

“However, sales losses continue to mount quickly and at unsustainable levels, requiring a full-on effort by businesses to survive,” ARRA and AMAC said in the letter. “In the face of such rapid traffic decline, we continue to work tirelessly to protect the public safety, maintain a level of service to remaining passengers, retain employees, and internally focus on the health of our individual businesses – requiring 100 percent of our time and effort.”

The two groups said earlier this week that concessionaires have experienced declines exceeding 50 percent, with some as high as 90 percent as passenger numbers dwindle.

ARRA and AMAC represent a $10 billion industry made up of firms of varying sizes, including many small and local businesses which contribute $2.5 billion to airport revenue streams. Together these businesses employ more than 125,000 workers in U.S. airports.