Recovery on horizon for Ontario International Airport as passenger volumes show improvement

Ontario International Airport (ONT) has regained more than half of the passenger volume lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which nearly decimated global air travel a year ago, according to monthly data released by airport officials today. 

The total number of passengers who traveled through ONT in March – nearly 260,000 – was 11% higher than the same month last year when governments closed borders to most international air travel and public health authorities issued stay-at-home orders, effectively shutting down airports. Many airports in the U.S. saw declines in passenger traffic of as much as 95% virtually overnight.
 
In recent months, reports have shown ONT with the strongest passenger recovery rate in California and one of the strongest nationwide. The March numbers released today underscored that trend, showing domestic passenger traffic up nearly 16% from March 2020 and improving to about 63% of its March 2019 pace. Overall passenger volume, including international travel, had improved to about 60% of its March 2019 pace – an encouraging sign that the recovery is underway.
 
“It is not surprising that passenger volume was higher in March this year than March last year, but in looking back to March 2019, the pre-pandemic year, we get a better measure of our recovery and see encouraging signs with more than half of our traveler volume back,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “Given the new and restarted services in recent months by airlines operating at Ontario and plans announced for the initiation of more flights coming by summer, we are confident that recovery is on the horizon, especially as more travelers receive vaccines and resume more normal travel routines.” 
 

Passenger
Totals
March
2021
March
2020
Change YTD
2021
YTD
2020
Change
Domestic 256,837 221,481 15.96% 552,494 1,044,210 -47.1%
International 2,654 12,295  -78.41% 11,150 64,060 -82.6%
Total 259,491 233,776 11.0% 563,644 1,108,270 -49.1%

 

Passenger
Totals
March
2021
March
2019
Change YTD
2021
YTD
2019
Change
Domestic 256,837 412,440 -37.73% 552,494 1,124,922 -50.9%
International 2,654 24,261 -89.06% 11,150 71,411 -84.4%
Total 259,491 436,701 -40.58% 563,644 1,196,333  -52.9%


 
Air cargo shipments, on the other hand, continued their surge as many Americans transitioned to working from home and families increased their reliance on e-commerce for household goods and supplies. Commercial freight tonnage increased nearly 6% last month compared to March last year. For the first quarter of this year, freight volume increased by double-digits to 11.5%.
 

Air cargo
(tonnage)
March
2021
March
2020
Change YTD
2021
YTD
2020
Change
Freight 74,367 70,221 5.9% 207,720 186,278 -11.5%
Mail 3,828 1,480 158.61% 10,298 4,498 129.0%
Total 78,195 71,701 9.06% 218,019 190,775 14.3%

               

Air cargo
(tonnage)
March
2021
March
2019
Change YTD
2021
YTD
2019
Change
Freight 74,367 57,582 29.15% 207,720 164,988 25.9%
Mail 3,828 2,325 64.62% 10,298 6,738 52.8%
Total 78,195 59,907 30.53% 218,019 171,725 27.0%


 
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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).