Ontario International Airport (ONT) in southern California saw the number of air travellers rise to almost 200,000 in September, while commercial freight volume increased by more than 20%.

The increase in activity reflects a gradual recovery for the Californian hub. September’s passenger count was more than 195,000, a decrease of 58.4% compared to the same month last year. The number of domestic passengers exceeded 191,00, while international travellers totalled more than 3,500, decreases of 57% and 84.5% respectively. Indeed, since reaching its low point in air travel in April following the initial COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario’s passenger volumes have grown on a percentage basis every month between May and September.

“Cargo continues to be a point of strength and pride for us as Ontario enjoys the fastest rate of growth among airports in the continental US,” said Mark Thorpe, CEO of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA). He added that, “While passenger volumes remain significantly lower year-over-year, Ontario’s rate of recovery puts it third among US airports and first among airports in California.”

October has seen Delta Air Lines begin a twice-daily, nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, while Volaris is planning a new service to Mexico City beginning in November.

In terms of commercial freight volume in September, the airport experienced a 22.5% gain, marking the sixth month this year of better than 20% growth, with shipments totalling more than 73,000 tonnes. On a year-to-date basis, freight volume was nearly 645,000 tonnes, almost 20% more than the January to September period in 2019.

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