Air freight shipments strong at Ontario Airport in February while passenger volume remained soft

Shipments of air freight continued to drive commercial activity at Ontario International Airport (ONT) in February, continuing to grow by double-digits, while passenger volumes remained soft. 

For the month, freight volume totaled more than 62,800 tons, up 14.3% over February 2020. 

For the first two months of the year, air freight totaled more than 133,000 tons, almost 15% higher than the same period in 2020. Shipments of mail more than doubled to 6,400 tons. 

“Our airport continues to be a bright reflection of the Inland Empire’s skilled labor force and vibrant economy in 2021,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “Despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel and other sectors of the economy, freight shipments through Ontario continue to show tremendous strength and make the airport a focal point of Southern California’s goods movement industry.”

Air cargo
(tonnage) 
February
2021
February
2020
Change     YTD
2021
YTD
2020
Change
Freight 62,806 55,029 14.13% 133,353 116,056 14.9%
Mail 3,246 1,431 126.84% 6,471 3,018 114.4%
Total 66,052 56,460 16.99% 139,824 119,074 17.4%

Passenger volume continued to feel the pandemic’s impact as 152,000 air travelers moved through ONT in February, 63% less than the total from February of last year. More than 150,000 were domestic passengers and 2,000 were international fliers, declines of 62% and 90%, respectively.

On a year-to-date basis, the number of ONT passengers decreased 65% to 304,000. Domestic travel declined 64% to more than 295,000 while international passenger volume was off more than 83% to nearly 8,500.

Passenger
Totals
February
2021
February
2020
Change     YTD
2021
YTD
2020
Change
Domestic 150,272 399,086 -62.35% 295,657  822,729 -64.1%
International 2,021 20,869 -90.32% 8,496 51,765 -83.6%
Total 152,293 419,955 -63.74% 304,153 874,494 -65.2%

Thorpe noted, however, that new air services and resumption of suspended flights in coming months bodes well for ONT’s recovery. Already this month, American Airlines announced it will begin nonstop service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. Last week, Hawaiian Airlines launched its new service between ONT and Honolulu – one of nearly a dozen popular U.S. destinations that are being initiated or restarted. The first service from ONT to Central America also will begin this summer.

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About Ontario International Airport 
Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which, before the coronavirus pandemic, offered nonstop commercial jet service to 26 major airports in the U.S., Mexico and Taiwan. More information is available at www.flyOntario.com. Follow @flyONT on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram   

About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA)
The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport's four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Mayor Pro Tem Alan D. Wapner (President), Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President), Ontario City Council Member Jim W. Bowman (Secretary), San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (Commissioner) and retired business executive Julia Gouw (Commissioner)