Travel & Tourism
COVID-19 testing at Ontario International Airport in time for holiday travel season
More than a quarter-million passengers expected during holidays; drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opens today at Ontario International Airport just in time for the holiday travel season.
A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opens today at Ontario International Airport (ONT) just in time for the holiday travel season as airport officials forecast that approximately 280,000 passengers will travel through the Southern California gateway.
Testing is available in parking lot 3 between terminals 2 and 4 from 3-9 p.m. today (Monday, November 23) , and thereafter from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week. Tests are administered by Covid Clinic, a Southern California-based non-profit which operates testing sites in California and Arizona. ONT is Covid Clinic’s 24th location.
Rapid tests with results available in as few as 20 minutes are among a variety of antigen and antibody tests offered. Rapid test specimens are processed on-site while others are sent to local third-party laboratories with results generally reported in two to four days.
“The availability of COVID-19 testing adds a new level of service and convenience to the Ontario airport experience,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “It is our hope that on-site testing administered in the comfort of a passenger vehicle will provide peace of mind to our customers, guests and airport employees, as well as any of our neighbors who want to be tested.”
Reservations for testing at ONT, and more detailed test information and pricing, is available here. Patients may be able to receive reimbursement from their health insurance provider for all or a portion of their COVID-19 test.
Thanksgiving holiday travel spanning 11 days from Friday, November 20th through Monday, November 30th is expected to bring more than 100,000 air travelers through ONT, based on current airline schedules, while more than 180,000 are expected to depart and arrive at ONT during the winter holidays from Thursday, December 17th through Sunday, January 3rd. The total number of passengers expected in the coming weeks is 60% of the traveler volume estimated for the period last year.
Surges in COVID-19 infections across the country, government orders to pause restarts and guidance from public health officials to limit family gatherings could cause holiday travel volumes to fluctuate even more, however, as most passengers are purchasing airline tickets within 30 days of departure, Thorpe cautioned.
Nonetheless, as air travel shows signs of gradual resurgence, ONT has recorded six straight months of traffic growth since reaching its low point in April when passenger levels declined by 93%.
Ontario’s recovery ranks first among airports in California and third nationally, having regained roughly 50% of passenger volume compared to a year ago.
International carrier Volaris initiated nonstop service from ONT to its Mexico City base earlier this month. Delta Air Lines, which resumed daily, nonstop service to its Atlanta hub in July, began twice daily, nonstop flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in October. Southwest Airlines restarted its Chicago Midway International Airport route while United Airlines resumed flying to Houston’s George H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport in August.
Denver-based Frontier Airlines announced in recent days that it will add or restart flights to seven popular U.S. destinations to its ONT schedule between February and May in 2021.
Ontario airport continues intensive efforts to keep passengers and guests safe while in the airport and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by frequently sanitizing restrooms, gate areas and high-touch surfaces with highly effective disinfectant, and utilizing security screening trays treated with powerful antimicrobial technology.
Ontario requires appropriate face covers for all customers, visitors and employees. Passengers are urged to wash hands with soap and water frequently and use the many hand sanitizing stations that have been added throughout ONT terminals. Vending machines including personal protective equipment such as face covers, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are also located in passenger terminals.
“The pandemic has impacted life in every aspect, but we strive every day with our airline partners to take steps to reassure passengers that they can travel safely,” Thorpe said.
Travel & Tourism
China Airlines restores daily service between Ontario, California, and Taipei
Airline resumes flights at pre-pandemic frequency with larger aircraft
China Airlines will fully restore daily round-trip service between Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Taipei beginning March 26, 2023, ONT officials announced.
The return of daily service connecting ONT and Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) marks a major milestone in Ontario’s recovery of international air service, all of which was suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly three years ago.
“We have eagerly awaited the resumption of daily service between Ontario and Taiwan,” said Atif Elkadi, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA). “This exciting development is a testament to the demand for long-haul international travel from the Inland Empire and the exceptional service provided by our global gateway.”
After suspending service in March 2020, China Airlines resumed ONT-TPE flights in June 2021, gradually increasing service levels as demand returned. The resumption of daily service occurs at the same time that China Airlines marks its five-year anniversary at ONT.
The first carrier to offer nonstop, transoceanic passenger service to ONT after its transition to local ownership, China Airlines will upgrade the aircraft operating the route from an Airbus A350-900 to a larger Boeing 777-300ER, increasing seat capacity from 306 to 358 across premium business, premium economy and economy classes. The service is also scheduled to provide customers with seamless one-stop connections to additional destinations throughout Asia.
TPE is the primary international gateway to northern Taiwan’s more than 9 million residents, while ONT is the closest and most convenient international gateway airport for more than 10 million Southern California residents in San Bernardino, Riverside, northern Orange and eastern Los Angeles counties.
Domestic air travel through ONT surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2022, a milestone achieved by few other airports in California.
Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce Event to Spotlight Brightline West
Program will highlight what’s next for high-speed rail in the Inland Empire
High-Impact Event Alert
Brightline West will be featured during the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “High-Speed Rail is Headed to the Inland Empire” event on Wednesday, January 11, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Jessie Turner Community Center in Fontana, CA, which the County of San Bernardino is a title sponsor. The program will feature an update on Brightline West, including the project’s role in regional and statewide connectivity, its benefits to the community, what to expect in 2023, and how the public can stay engaged.
Featured panelists for the program are:
- Fiona Ma, Treasurer, State of California
- Ray Wolfe, Executive Director, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority
- Sarah Watterson, President, Brightline West
- Edward Ornelas, Jr., President/CEO, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Matt Burris, Deputy City Manager of Community Development, City of Rancho Cucamonga
Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail service in America. The company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach in Florida, with its Orlando station beginning service in 2023. Recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, Brightline offers a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too close to fly and too long to drive. Brightline West will build on this award-winning service by connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, with stations in Las Vegas, Victor Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga, and connectivity to Metrolink’s regional rail network.
“This will transform transportation in Southern California and Las Vegas for generations by providing a fast and efficient connection that gets people out of their cars, reduces traffic congestion and decreases air pollution.” -Fiona Ma, California State Treasurer
- Expected travel time is approx. 2 ¼ hours
- Our route is 2x faster than driving
- Zero-emission, electric train sets
- Expected top speed is 180 mph
- 400,000 tons of CO2 removed annually by reducing 3 million vehicles
- Connections to Metrolink and planned future connection to California High-Speed Rail in Palmdale
- Convenient station location on the Vegas strip (I-15)
For more information and to register for the event, click here.
Travel & Tourism
More than 300,000 expected to travel through Ontario International Airport during the holiday season
Southern California’s Ontario International Airport is expecting more than 300,000 holiday travelers this year.
Ontario International Airport (ONT) is expecting a merry – and busy – holiday season, with passenger volumes expected to surpass pre-pandemic 2019.
ONT officials estimate that 303,266 holiday travelers will utilize the popular Southern California gateway from Sunday, December 18, through Wednesday, January 4.
The busiest travel days, with more than 19,000 airline passengers, will be:
- Thursday, December 22 (19,182)
- Wednesday, December 28 (19,099)
- Thursday, December 29, (19,182)
The lightest travel days will be Christmas Day (10,799) and New Year’s Day (13,973).
Based on current schedules, airlines operating at ONT are offering 378,406 seats during the 18-day holiday period, 5.3% more than winter holidays in 2019. Airlines predict an average 80% of the seats will be filled.
“We are preparing for the anticipated increase in winter holiday travel and doing everything in our power to avoid the stress that can be common at many other airports,” said Atif Elkadi, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “Terminal halls will be decked, retail and dining concessions, as well as passenger lounges, will be open, and our hallmark hassle-free customer experience will be on display.”
Elkadi highlighted the availability of ample parking close to ONT passenger terminals and encouraged travelers to book spaces online at discounted rates before arriving at the airport. He also noted the newly opened Lot 6, where 1,337 new spaces became available at a rate of $15 per day.
Travelers and non-travelers alike will notice new and enhanced amenities and services at ONT this holiday season, including:
- ONT+, is a free service that enables the non-traveling public to greet family and friends at the gate or spend more time with them as they prepare to depart
- CLEAR expedited security lanes
- Aspire premium lounges
- Delicious food and beverage options accessible via mobile ordering from terminal gate areas
Travel through ONT has surpassed pre-pandemic levels from March through November. Airport officials expect to welcome an estimated 5.8 million passengers for the year as a whole.
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