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Ontario International Airport flight schedules show improvement for June

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Officials optimistic that worst of travel declines has passed

June 1st, 2020 — Commercial air travel at Ontario International Airport (ONT) is showing signs of recovery for June based on published flight schedules, creating a sense of measured optimism among local officials that the worst of the unprecedented travel declines caused by the global coronavirus pandemic has passed.

According to current airline schedules, ONT will have an average 37 daily departures in June, a decrease of 46% compared with last June, yet a significant improvement over the 24 daily departures scheduled in May. The more than 50% increase in daily departures from May to June is a sign of encouragement for airport officials who have eagerly awaited indications that recovery is forthcoming.

“It may be too soon to say happy days are here again, but happier days might come earlier than some anticipated for ONT and our aviation partners,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “Since air travel volumes cratered virtually overnight in mid-March, we have scrambled to sanitize facilities, protect customers, visitors and those who work at the airport, and maintain payrolls. Needless to say, we are encouraged as airline bookings increase slowly but steadily and carriers restore flights accordingly.”

Thorpe also noted that all customers, visitors and employees must still wear appropriate face coverings while at ONT and onboard flights. The airport continues to utilize enhanced safeguards to keep facilities clean and germ-free, including frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces with highly effective disinfectant and security screening trays treated with powerful antimicrobial technology. Passengers are reminded to wash hands with soap and water frequently and use the many hand sanitizing stations that have been added throughout ONT terminals.

Nonstop service from ONT to seven destinations will remain suspended: Atlanta, Chicago (Midway), Dallas (Love Field), Houston (George Bush Intercontinental), New York (John F. Kennedy International), Orlando and Taiwan. Service to these destinations is tentatively scheduled to resume in July, according to future airline scheduled published this week.

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

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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Travel & Tourism

Ontario International Airport Authority appoints Atif Elkadi as Chief Executive Officer

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Atif Elkadi has been selected as CEO of the Ontario International Airport Authority.

The Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners today voted unanimously to appoint Atif Elkadi as chief executive officer of Southern California’s premier aviation gateway, effective March 31, 2022.

Elkadi joined Ontario International Airport (ONT) in 2017 and has served as deputy chief executive officer for the past three years. His extensive background in airport operations, management and communications includes positions at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Dubai International Airport.

“We’re fortunate to have someone of Atif’s experience and leadership as we continue our strong recovery from the pandemic and assert ourselves further as Southern California’s airport of choice. We have full confidence is his ability to lead our ONT team in serving one of the most dynamic population and economic centers in the U.S.,” said Alan D. Wapner, OIAA President and Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario.

Since its return to local ownership in 2016, ONT has become one of the aviation industry’s great success stories, with passenger volumes climbing more than 30% to a pre-pandemic peak of nearly 5.6 million. Over the past year, Ontario has posted one of the strongest travel recovery rates in the country and was named by Global Traveler magazine as the fastest-growing airport in the country for the third year in a row.

ONT also ranks among the Top 10 cargo airports in North America and is a critical hub for the movement of goods around the world.

“I am extremely grateful for the support of the OIAA Board of Commissioners, and the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary team of airport professionals. Together, we have the honor of serving one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, and I look forward to building on our role as a premier passenger airport, supply chain hub and economic driver for the Inland Empire and beyond,” Elkadi said.

Elkadi has 16 years of experience in the airport industry. Before coming to ONT, he served as senior corporate communications manager at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and managed internal communications, customer service communications and social media for Dubai International Airport.

A native of Napa, Elkadi holds a Master’s degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California, Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Elkadi is married with six children, and lives in Jurupa Valley.

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