The number of airline passengers who traveled through Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) increased by more than 5% last month compared to March last year, the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) announced. Overall, passenger numbers grew from 415,000 in March 2018 to 436,701 last month.
The number of domestic travelers increased by 2% to 412,440 from 404,334 in March last year. Meanwhile, the number of international passengers rose to 24,261 last month, up from 10,665 in March 2018, an increase of 127.5%.
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In the first three months of 2019, nearly 1.2 million air travelers passed through ONT, an increase of 4.6% over the same period a year ago. The number of international travelers rose by nearly 135% while domestic passenger volume grew by 1%.
“Ontario customers continue to reward us with their business month after month,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the OIAA. “Their acknowledgment that Ontario is growing into a viable international aviation gateway for Southern California drives us every day to provide the facilities, services and amenities that they demand, not to mention the hassle-free experiences that they deserve.”
Ontario passenger volumes are expected to rise further in the coming months, Thorpe noted, as Delta Air Lines initiates daily nonstop service to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Monday, April 22, with a second roundtrip also to its Atlanta hub beginning in June. In the same month, United Airlines will begin one flight a day to its Texas hub, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, while Southwest Airlines will add new service to San Francisco International Airport with four daily flights. Southwest will add a third daily flight (Monday-Friday) to Denver International Airport, also in June.
Air cargo, meanwhile, was essentially flat in March compared to the same month a year ago, declining less than 1% from 60,200 tons to 59,900 tons. The volume of commercial freight dipped two-tenths of one percent from 57,700 tons to 57,500 tons approximately. Mail shipments decreased by 8.9%. On a year-to-date basis, air cargo shipments grew by almost 1% to more than 171,000 tons compared to the first quarter of 2018.