Type to search


ONT’s passenger traffic soars and exceeds pre-pandemic levels


Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the seventh straight month in September as passenger volumes continued to climb to levels not seen since 2007, airport officials announced.

Nearly 517,000 air travellers flew into or out of ONT during the month, a rise of 10.15% on the same month in 2019.

It marked the fifth consecutive month in which passenger volumes exceeded a half million, and moved Ontario closer to a possible six million passengers by year’s end.

The September total also represented a 6,000-passenger increase over August – typically a peak month for air travel.

“Ontario International continues to prove itself as the airport of choice for millions of Southern Californians,” notes lan Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners and Mayor pro Tem of City of Ontario.

“The double-digit increase in passenger volume last month reinforces the important role we play in meeting the air travel needs of one of the most robust population and economic centres in the country.”

September’s upturn means that ONT has welcomed 4.2 million passengers in the first nine months of 2022 – 3.6% more than the same period in 2019 and 37.6% above last year.

At this pace, says the gateway, the airport should well exceed the 5.6 million passengers who flew into or out of ONT in 2019 – the last full year before the pandemic.

And according to Ontario’s seat capacity projections for the next six months, non-stop flights are expected to increase by 1.6% over the October 2019-March 2020 time period, non-stop seat capacity is projected to rise by 7.9%, and available seat miles (ASMs) are projected to increase by 11.4%.

This continues an impressive trend that began with the airport’s return to local ownership in 2016. During those first three years – before COVID-19 disrupted air travel globally – ONT experienced a nearly 33% increase in passenger volumes.

“We’ve been able to pick up where we left off before the pandemic, increasing flights and destinations and providing travellers with amenities and a customer experience they won’t get anywhere else,” enthuses OIAA CEO, Atif Elkadi.

The September numbers also underscored Ontario’s role as a global logistics hub. Shipments of air cargo totalled more than 70,000 tons during the month, 14.4% higher than the same month in 2019. Last month’s tonnage was essentially flat when compared with September a year ago.

For the first nine months of the year, air cargo volume was more than 618,000 tons, 11% more than the same period in 2019.

“Ontario International cargo shipments showed strong growth in September and on a year-to-date basis compared with 2019 as our shipping partners continued to show confidence in our airport as a commercial hub for Southern California,” noted Ron Loveridge, vice president of the OIAA board.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *