Airports That Returned to Their Pre-Covid-19 Flight Totals

Airports That Returned to Their Pre-Covid-19 Flight Totals

Airports 2022-05-23
Building on a trend of 2021, sun-soaked and mountain leisure destinations once again set the pace for the airline industry’s recovery in Q1. However, only 24 busiest airports in the country operated more domestic flights than they did in the first quarter of 2019 – the average was 91%, compared with the pre-pandemic time.

In addition to the impact on airlines and airports, the statistics show which metro areas are reaping the other benefits of air travel's comeback: hotel stays, dining dollars, and other accompanying economic activity.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at this situation: which airports can boast the most rapid Covid-19 recovery, which airports are at the end of the list, and how the busiest airports are getting along with the current difficulties. So let’s get to the point.

Top airports for Covid-19 recovery

  1. The first place takes Florida’s Sarasota Bradenton International Airport – it operated 5027 domestic flights (in comparison with 2185 in 2019) in Q1. Besides, US airlines considerably expanded the services at the airport, adding new routes and increasing flight frequency. Thanks to that, Sarasota Bradenton Airport has received $72 million to accommodate the increased traffic.
  2. The second one is Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, along with Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
  3. A couple of words about the Miami International Airport, a key hub for American Airlines – the major air carrier of the country. According to the statistics, this airport was the only one hub among the 10 airports with the top recoveries.

Airports with slower recoveries from Covid-19

Among the airports with a slow recovery from Covid-19 were the following ones:
  • Bethel Airport (58% of 2019 flight totals) in Alaska,
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (65%),
  • Portland International Airport (66%) in Oregon,
  • Philadelphia International Airport (69%).
By the way, Philadelphia is another major US hub, which wasn’t the only one placed at the end of the list.

United Airlines hub San Francisco International Airport (71%), Delta Air Lines hubs Los Angeles International Airport (76%) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (77%), and Chicago Midway International Airport (76%), a key hub in the network for Southwest Airlines Co., were also near the bottom.

What about the busiest airports?

In this case, the most successful airports were New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Denver International Airport, and Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The first one eclipsed its 2019 first-quarter total (99%), but the other airports were close – both reached 97%.

In Q1 of this year, the 10 busiest airports operated 70,923 fewer flights than they did at the same time in 2019.

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