RENSSELAER — Airlines and Amtrak are preparing for deep cutbacks in capacity and staffing as federal programs to support continuing operations expire.

At Amtrak, as many as 2,050 jobs are to be eliminated. U.S. airlines, meanwhile, plan to cut as many as 35,000 positions.

What has this meant for the traveler? At Albany International Airport, the average number of daily flights fell from nearly 45 in January to just 21.4 this month. The available seats fell to 63,168 for the current month from 141,803 back in January.

Despite the looming layoffs, local airport officials may hope the worst is behind them.

“We have not been notified of any staffing or service reductions as of Oct. 1st,” airport spokesman Doug Myers said Monday.

But passenger volumes nationwide are down 70 percent, and nearly 1,800 aircraft, nearly 30 percent of the fleet, are idle, according to the trade group Airlines For America.

Amtrak, meanwhile, is slowly rebuilding service out of Albany, from six round-trips to New York City in the spring as the Covid 19 pandemic was peaking to 10 round-trips currently, said Bruce Becker, former president of the Empire State Passengers Association, a rail advocacy group. Before the pandemic, Amtrak typically operated 13 round trips.

Some of the curtailments are beyond Amtrak’s control. Canada closed the border with the United States as the pandemic in this country spread, and two international services, the Adirondack to Montreal and the Maple Leaf to Toronto, now operate no farther north than Albany and Niagara Falls, respectively.

Meanwhile, Vermont officials feared that the Ethan Allen service originating in New York City would pose a similar threat. That train continues to go no farther north than Albany.

Airlines and Amtrak have tried a number of approaches to ensure passenger safety and encourage them to travel. United last Thursday said it would start offering Covid-19 rapid tests to passengers en route to Hawaii from San Francisco beginning Oct. 15, as a way for them to meet quarantine entry requirements. Passengers could also use a self-collected mail-in rapid test before their trip.

The airline said this effort was a pilot program that could be expanded to other popular global destinations.

Amtrak, meanwhile, has begun touting its bedrooms and roomettes as a way for passengers to social distance themselves. The Lake Shore Limited is the only train through the Capital Region that offers such a feature.

When airline and Amtrak assistance were being discussed last spring, Congress may have thought the economy would be recovering by now. But the virus continues to spread. Currently, visitors from 33 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico, face a 14-day quarantine after arriving in New York state.

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