The number of airline passengers who chose Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) remained strong in February, increasing 15% over last year, officials announced.
The monthly passenger count totaled almost 413,000, including 391,000 domestic fliers and more than 21,000 international travelers. Domestic volume increased 12.75% while the number of international travelers nearly doubled compared with February last year.
On a year-to-date basis, total passenger volume rose 20% with domestic and international numbers higher by almost 19% and 66%, respectively.
“Ontario passenger growth remained strong in February,” said Atif Elkadi, chief executive officer, Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA). “We continue to be encouraged by our airport’s industry leading pandemic recovery. The outlook for 2023 is equally encouraging based on industry data and we expect ONT to maintain its position as one of the fasting growing airports in the U.S.”
According to industry trade association Airlines for America, ONT ranks 4th among medium to large-size airports in the continental U.S. experiencing double-digit seat growth this year compared with pre-pandemic 2019 data. No other airports in California were among the top 10 in the ranking of 65 airports.
Shipments of commercial freight and mail declined 7% by volume in February compared with 2022 and 8% on a year-to-date basis. Industry analysts attribute decreased cargo volumes worldwide to rising interest rates and slowing consumer demand, which they say could persist in coming months.