MIAMI – Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) experienced the third-highest recovery rate among U.S. airports in August, welcoming up to 43% of the air travelers it handled a year ago.

According to data released by the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA), almost 200,000 passengers traveled via ONT in August, around two-fifths of the total number of passengers compared to August last year. Domestic travelers numbered more than 193,000 and foreign travelers more than 3,000.

During the first eight months of the year, ONT welcomed more than 1.7 million passengers, with domestic and foreign travelers accounting for more than 1.6 million and 72,000.

Passenger TotalsAugust 2020August 2019% ChangeYTD 2020YTD 2019% Change
Domestic193,142 478,782-59.66%1,649,497 3,392,696-51.4%
Total196,531 504,102-61.01%1,722,263  3,593,430-52.1%
Ontario International Airport: Photo: ONT

Comments from OIAA CEO

“While we eagerly await the return of our customers in greater numbers, we are heartened by the pace of our recovery at Ontario,” OIAA Chief Executive Officer Mark Thorpe said in alluding to passenger screening data from the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA).

According to the ONT press release, the TSA data, collected on a weekly basis, showed that by the end of August, ONT had recovered 43% of its passenger volume from August last year.

“No U.S. airport has been immune from the impact of the coronavirus and many continue to experience the loss of airline services, but with a robust customer base and fundamentally strong economy in the Inland Empire, Ontario is well-positioned for recovery.”

Over the last few months, ONT airlines have restored non-stop flights to Atlanta, Chicago and Houston. Delta Air Lines (DL) announced that service to Seattle will begin in October, while the international carrier Volaris (Y4) is planning a new service to Mexico City starting in November.

Ontario International Airport. Photo: Wiki Commons.

ONT Freight Operations

Freight shipments, meanwhile, rose to 70,000 tons last month, an increase of almost 7% compared to August 2019. For the first eight months of the year, freight tonnage was more than 570,000 tonnes, a rise of almost 20% over the same period in 2019.

Finally, US mail shipments, which had been decreasing for most of the year, went up by 32% in August. Combined freight and mail volumes rose by more than 7.5% per month and 18%$ per year.

Air cargo (tonnage)August 2020August 2019% ChangeYTD 2020YTD 2019% Change
Total72,156 67,1017.53%585,163 496,09418.0%

Featured image. Ontario International Airport