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July flights at Ontario International Airport will reach 90% of pre-pandemic level

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Ontario International Airport is approaching near pre-pandemic passenger volume and is beginning the new fiscal year with a responsible budget plan designed to attract more commercial flight activity; Board approves budget designed to boost commercial flight activity

Summer travel is looking up at Ontario International Airport (ONT) as the Southern California gateway approaches near pre-pandemic passenger volume and begins the new fiscal year with a responsible budget plan designed to attract more commercial flight activity.

Based on current flight schedules, there will be 437 flight departures a week in July from ONT, 87.4% of departing flights in July 2019 when there were 500 outbound flights a week. There will be more than 64,000 seats on the July flights, 90.8% of the 70,600 seats in July 2019.

And as Ontario International’s recovery pace accelerates, the airport will enter Fiscal Year 2022, which begins July 1, with an operating expense budget of $73.3 million. The fiscal plan adopted by the Ontario International Airport Authority Board of Commissioners anticipates passengers returning to ONT at near pre-pandemic numbers in the coming months and includes lower landing fees and terminal rent for airlines.

  • Landing fees for passenger airlines will be reduced in FY22 to $1.71 per thousand pounds of landed weight, down from $1.84 in Fiscal Year 2021 and $1.98 in pre-pandemic Fiscal Year 2020.
  • Terminal facility fees will remain unchanged in FY22 at $99.38 per square foot per year compared to the pre-pandemic rate of $109.86 per square foot.

“The Board approved a fiscally sound plan for the new budget year which maintains ONT’s position as a low-cost gateway, attractive to airlines and other users, and that ultimately benefits air travelers who are accustomed to our hassle-free, high quality customer experience,” said Alan D. Wapner president of the airport Board of Commissioners and Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario.

“Since the transition of Ontario International to local control in 2016, we have taken the steps necessary to create a first-rate aviation gateway and a valuable public asset for the Inland Empire. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global air travel, ONT is well-positioned to resume its pre-pandemic position as one of the fastest growing airports in the U.S.”

Eleven airlines operating at ONT are offering nonstop service to 25 destinations this summer, six more than the summer of 2019, including Charlotte, Chicago (O’Hare International) Honolulu, Houston (William P. Hobby Airport), Mexico City and San Salvador.

Air travelers, greeters and other ONT visitors are reminded that face coverings are still required in public transit areas including airport terminals and onboard aircraft.

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

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Travel & Tourism

FAA Awards Ontario International Airport another $10.77 million for taxiway, airfield improvements

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Ontario International Airport has received an additional $10.77 million in infrastructure funding from the FAA.

Ontario International Airport will receive another $10.77 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to invest in infrastructure improvements at the aviation gateway of choice for millions of Southern Californians.

The FAA announced this week that it is awarding a total of $518 million to airports across the country, under its 2022 Airport Improvement Program. ONT will receive the largest amount within California – for taxiway improvements and expanding the lighting vault that serves the airport’s runways.

The announcement comes less than a year after ONT was awarded $12.68 million through the FAA and the American Rescue Plan Act for taxiway and runway improvements.

“I’m grateful to our staff for preparing a successful funding application and to the FAA for continuing to bring infrastructure and airfield improvement dollars to the fastest-growing passenger airport in the U.S.,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the Ontario International Airport Authority Board of Commissioners and Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Ontario.

ONT has been one of the aviation industry’s great success stories, eclipsing pre-pandemic passenger volumes and ranking among the Top 10 cargo airports in North America. The airport also plays a critical role in the Inland Empire’s emergence as one of the fastest-growing population centers in the United States and a global supply chain hub.

“In communities of all sizes, airports are vital to local economies, sustaining jobs and getting people and goods where they need to go,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, in announcing this week’s funding awards. “We’re pleased to announce this important funding to help improve airports around the country and better serve all Americans.”

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Travel & Tourism

Ontario International Airport passenger volume exceeds pre-pandemic levels for second straight month in April

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Traveler count grew 7% over 2019 level with domestic volume up 10%

The number of passengers who traveled through Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) in April was nearly 7% above the April 2019 total, beating pre-pandemic levels for the second straight month, officials announced today.

Total ONT passenger volume was almost 476,000 last month, 6.92% more than April three years ago. The number of domestic travelers increased by 9.65% to more than 461,000.

Passenger traffic increased by 4% in March compared with the same month in 2019.

“Demand for air travel through Ontario International remained strong in April as passengers took to the airways for spring break vacations and to visit friends and family for religious holidays. Ontario International was rapidly growing before the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is not a surprise that we’re among the quickest to recover,” said Alan D. Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners.

From January through April, total passenger volume was more than 1.62 million, within a percentage point of the total from the first four months of 2019. The number of domestic passengers was 1.57 million, an increase of 1.6%.

Passenger

Totals

April

2022

April

2019

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2019

Change

Domestic

461,300

420,699

9.65%

1,571,080

1,545,621

1.6%

International

14,441

24,249

-40.45%

56,300

95,660

-41.1%

Total

475,741

444,948

6.92%

1,627,380

1,641,281

-0.8%

 

Passenger

Totals

April

2022

April

2021

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2021

Change

Domestic

461,300

295,186

56.27%

1,571,080

847,680

85.3%

International

14,441

3,598

301.36%

56,300

14,748

281.7%

Total

475,741

298,784

59.23%

1,627,380

862,428

88.7%

Air cargo shipments also remained strong in April at 67,000 tons, 8.6% greater than April in 2019. On a year-to-date basis, shipments of freight and mail combined were 15.5% higher than the January through April period in 2019, at nearly 270,000 tons.

Air cargo

(tonnage)

April

2022

April

2019

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2019

Change

Freight

62,291

59,359

4.94%

250,623

224,346

11.7%

Mail

4,860

2,454

98.05%

19,068

9,192

107.4%

Total

67,152

61,813

8.64%

269,692

233,539

15.5%

 

Air cargo

(tonnage)

April

2022

April

2021

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2021

Change

Freight

62,291

70,422

-11.55%

250,623

278,143

-9.9%

Mail

4,860

4,085

18.98%

19,068

14,383

32.6%

Total

67,152

74,508

-9.87

269,692

292,526

-7.8%

“Ontario International remains a point of pride as an increasingly popular passenger gateway in Southern California and attractive hub for e-commerce,” said Atif Elkadi, chief executive officer of the OIAA. “With our growing customer base in the Inland Empire, support of our community neighbors and strong political will of our city and county leaders, I am confident Ontario International will continue to attract new and increased flights from passenger and cargo air carriers.”

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Travel & Tourism

Ontario International Airport achieves milestone in March as passenger volume exceeded pre-pandemic level

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Ontario International Airport (ONT) officials had eagerly awaited a month in which passenger volume would be higher than the same month before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the wait is over as the Southern California airport welcomed 454,000 air travelers last month, 4% more than in March 2019.

“Ontario is setting the pace of recovery among airports in California and, as a result, it is an attractive metropolitan gateway for airlines restarting suspended services and establishing new routes as public health restrictions ease and demand for air travel increases,” said Alan D. Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners.

Domestic passengers totaled 439,531 last month, while the number of international travelers was almost 15,000, increases of 71% and 446%, respectively, compared with March of last year. The total number of ONT passengers was 75% higher in March.

Most importantly, domestic and international passenger volume combined was 3.97% higher in March compared with March 2019. Domestic travel increased more than 6.5% to 439,531 while international volume was 40% lower at 14,492.

“The March passenger numbers are a tremendous achievement for our airport and airline partners, launching Ontario International’s pandemic recovery to an even higher level. We can’t say for sure what the coming months will bring, but the March passenger count shows what full recovery looks like,” said OIAA Chief Executive Officer Atif Elkadi,

The emergence of ONT as an increasingly popular aviation gateway comes as the Inland Empire experiences a steady influx of new residents, particularly from the coastal areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties, drawn by employment opportunities, available housing and high quality of life. According to  U.S. Census data, San Bernardino and Riverside counties have experienced the fifth-largest population gain among the top 50 metro areas in the U.S.

 

Passenger

Totals

March

2022

March

2021

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2021

Change

Domestic

439,531

256,837

71.13%

1,109,780

552,494

100.9%

International

14,492

2,654

446.04%

41,859

11,150

275.4%

Total

454,023

259,491

74.97%

1,151,639

563,644

104.3%

 

From January through March, the number of passengers who traveled through ONT doubled compared to the same period last year. The first quarter figures were 3.7% lower than 2019.

 

Passenger

Totals

March

2022

March

2019

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2019

Change

Domestic

439,531

412,440

6.57%

1,109,780

1,124,922

-1.3.%

International

14,492

24,261

-40.27%

41,859

71,411

-41.4%

Total

454,023

436,701

3.97%

1,151,639

1,196,333

-3.7%

 

Shipments of air cargo likewise remained strong in March compared with March 2019, increasing by 22%. On a year-to-date basis, shipments of freight and mail combined were 18% higher than the first quarter of 2019 as the Inland Empire continued to be a hub for commercial freight movement.

Compared to 2021, March and year-to-date cargo shipments decreased 6.5% and 7%, respectively.

 

Air cargo

(tonnage)

March

2022

March

2021

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2021

Change

Freight

67,795

74,367

-8.84%

188,332

207,720

-9.3%

Mail

5,303

3,828

38.54%

14,208

10,298

38.0%

Total

73,098

78,195

-6.52%

202,540

218,019

-7.1%

 

Air cargo

(tonnage)

March

2022

March

2019

Change

YTD

2022

YTD

2019

Change

Freight

67,795

57,582

17.74%

188,332

164,988

14.1%

Mail

5,303

2,325

128.06%

14,208

6,738

110.9%

Total

73,098

59,907

22.02%

202,540

171,725

17.9%

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