Monday, August 2, 2021
Travel & Tourism

Ontario International Airport in May Reached Nearly 80% of Pre-pandemic Passenger Level


Passenger volumes at Ontario International Airport (ONT) are showing signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels as the summer travel season kicks into high gear.

Passenger volume at Ontario International Airport (ONT) in May was nearly 80% of its pre-pandemic level, another encouraging sign as the popular Southern California airport prepares to welcome greater numbers of travelers over the summer.

Data released by the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) show nearly 367,000 airline passengers traveled through ONT last month, which was 77.2% of ONT’s passenger volume in May 2019. Compared to May 2020, last month’s passenger total was 422% higher.

The May report continues a steady climb in passenger volumes heading into the summer travel season. Ontario officials anticipate more than 1.4 million passengers from the beginning of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, recovering nearly 88% of the 1,657,185 passengers who arrived and departed ONT during the comparable period in 2019. That represents one of the fastest recovery rates in the United States.

“We continue to be enthusiastic about the pace of recovery at Ontario International and we are equally optimistic about volumes over the summer as air travelers rediscover the many advantages of arriving and departing our airport.” said Mark Thorpe, OIAA chief executive officer. “ONT continues to set the pace for recovery among California airports in rebounding from the severe downturn in air travel following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Today, airlines serving ONT offer nonstop service to 25 destinations including six new ones – Charlotte, Chicago (O’Hare International Airport), Honolulu, Houston (William P. Hobby Airport), Mexico City and San Salvador. 

Passenger TotalsMay 2021May 2020ChangeYTD 2021YTD 2020Change
Passenger TotalsMay 2021May 2019ChangeYTD 2021YTD 2019Change

Air freight shipments declined 20% in May to 65,000 tons compared to May last year but were flat – at 343,000 tons – from January through May compared to last year. However, freight was 18% higher over the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.

Air cargo (tonnage)May 2021May 2020ChangeYTD 2021YTD 2020Change
Air cargo (tonnage)May 2021May 2019ChangeYTD 2021YTD 2019Change

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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.