Airline industry finally hits million mark in passengers for 1 day

The virus-ravaged airline industry reached a milestone Sunday, carrying more than 1 million passengers for the first time in seven months.

U.S. airport security checkpoints processed 1,031,505 people, or 39.6 percent of the equivalent day in 2019, according to a tally by the Transportation Security Administration.

Several of the busiest days since mid-March have occurred in the past two weeks, and passenger loads have been gradually increasing, but that provides scant relief for an industry still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. If Sunday’s level were maintained for an entire year, it would roughly roll the industry back to levels last seen 36 years ago, according to the trade group for large carriers, Airlines for America.

The steep drop in flyers has prompted billions of dollars in losses and tens of thousands of job cuts or voluntary furloughs as impacts reverberate across the aviation industry. A federal aid package that had covered the costs of airline payrolls and forbid job cuts expired on Oct. 1, and attempts to extend it have faltered in partisan gridlock.

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday it will start filling middle seats as of Dec. 1. It had been capping its capacity at 65 percent of available seats.

Hartford Courant to print newspaper in Springfield, Mass.

The Hartford Courant announced this week that the newspaper will now be printed in Springfield, Mass.

The shift from Hartford will not affect distribution and circulation of the newspaper, which is the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper. The paper began as a newsweekly on Oct. 29, 1764.

“The Courant remains committed to its mission of telling the stories of the people of Connecticut,” said Andrew Julien, the Courant’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. “We are not in any way changing the mission of the paper.”

An undisclosed number of jobs will be eliminated.

The Springfield Republican newspaper will take over printing of the paper by the end of the year.

The Courant is owned by Tribune Publishing, a Chicago-based media company that also publishes the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel and other daily papers.

CVS to hire 15,000 workers nationwide to combat flu season

CVS Health plans to hire 15,000 workers nationwide to help handle the flu season and growing cases of COVID-19.

Positions will include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurse practitioners, call center representatives and work-from-home customer service employees.

Nationally, about 10,000 jobs will be full-time and part-time licensed pharmacy technicians.

Many workers hired nationally will help with drive-thru COVID-19 testing and prepare to potentially administer COVID-19 vaccines.

“Additional team members typically are needed every flu season,” said Lisa Bisaccia, chief human resources officer. “However, we’re estimating a much greater need for trained pharmacy technicians this year given the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities.”

— From wire reports