Monday, April 19, 2021
Transportation

Air freight shipments strong at Ontario Airport in February while passenger volume remained soft

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Air cargo shipments into and out of Ontario International Airport (ONT) continued to grow in February.

Shipments of air freight continued to drive commercial activity at Ontario International Airport (ONT) in February, continuing to grow by double-digits, while passenger volumes remained soft.

For the month, freight volume totaled more than 62,800 tons, up 14.3% over February 2020.

For the first two months of the year, air freight totaled more than 133,000 tons, almost 15% higher than the same period in 2020. Shipments of mail more than doubled to 6,400 tons.

“Our airport continues to be a bright reflection of the Inland Empire’s skilled labor force and vibrant economy in 2021,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “Despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel and other sectors of the economy, freight shipments through Ontario continue to show tremendous strength and make the airport a focal point of Southern California’s goods movement industry.”

Air cargo (tonnage)Feb 2021Feb 2020ChangeYTD 2021YTD 2020Change
Freight62,80655,02914.13%133,353116,05614.9%
Mail3,2461,431126.84%6,4713,018114.4%
Total66,05256,46016.99%139,824119,07417.4%

Passenger volume continued to feel the pandemic’s impact as 152,000 air travelers moved through ONT in February, 63% less than the total from February of last year. More than 150,000 were domestic passengers and 2,000 were international fliers, declines of 62% and 90%, respectively.

On a year-to-date basis, the number of ONT passengers decreased 65% to 304,000. Domestic travel declined 64% to more than 295,000 while international passenger volume was off more than 83% to nearly 8,500.

Passenger TotalsFeb 2021Feb 2020ChangeYTD 2021YTD 2020Change
Domestic150,272399,086-62.35%295,657822,729-64.1%
International2,02120,869-90.32%8,49651,765-83.6%
Total152,293419,955-63.74%304,153874,494-65.2%

Thorpe noted, however, that new air services and resumption of suspended flights in coming months bodes well for ONT’s recovery. Already this month, American Airlines announced it will begin nonstop service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. Last week, Hawaiian Airlines launched its new service between ONT and Honolulu – one of nearly a dozen popular U.S. destinations that are being initiated or restarted. The first service from ONT to Central America also will begin this summer.

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Inland Empire Business Journal
The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.