April numbers reaffirm growing confidence about the post-COVID recovery
Passenger volume increased more than 900% at Ontario International Airport (ONT) in April compared to April last year, the first full month when operations at U.S. airports were virtually shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to data compiled by the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA), more than 298,000 air travelers moved through ONT last month, a 933% increase compared to April 2020 when the airport handled fewer than 29,000 passengers. From January through April, ONT welcomed more than 862,000 passengers, a decrease of 24% from the same four-month period a year ago.
“The tenfold increase in traffic this April compared to last April may be eye-popping, but a better reflection of our recovery can be seen in this year’s passenger numbers versus pre-pandemic levels, and those numbers show we are steadily regaining passenger volume as airlines restart suspended services and initiate new routes at Ontario,” said Mark Thorpe, OIAA chief executive officer.
April’s passenger volume of 298,784 was 32% lower than the April 2019 level of nearly 445,000. Of the April 2021 total, 295,000 were domestic travelers and nearly 3,600 were international fliers, decreases of 29% and 85%, respectively. Likewise, passenger count of 862,428 from January through April this year was 47.5% lower than the same period in 2019.
“We are encouraged by the steady pace of recovery compared to pre-pandemic periods and we are optimistic that as more Americans become vaccinated and resume more normal travel routines, particularly during the summer vacation months, Ontario’s recovery pace will accelerate.” Thorpe said.
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Air freight shipments, which declined 6% in April, remained strong on a year-to-date basis, increasing by 6.4% over 2020. Compared to 2019, commercial freight tonnage increased 18% in April and 24% over the first four months of the year.