Austin airport sees first year-over-year increase in passengers since pandemic started


AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time in a year, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport saw an increase in passengers compared to the same month the year before.

735,270 passengers traveled through the airport in March, up 4.9% from March 2020.

While official numbers haven’t been totaled for April or the first half of May, ABIA spokesperson Bryce Dubee said they’re promising.

“We have seen that trend continue upwards, just this last Sunday alone we had 22,000 passengers go through TSA security, which is getting close to almost what would be considered a normal day pre-pandemic,” Dubee said.

There is still a ways to go, though. Dubee said a busy pre-pandemic day typically has more than 30,000 passengers.

Leisure traffic is showing a strong recovery, while business and international travel continue to struggle.

Southwest Airlines saw the most overall travelers, with 255,034 passengers, up 15.6% from the year before.

However, JetBlue saw the most growth. Its 36,675 passengers represented a 40.3% increase from March 2020.

Dubee said more and more concessions are starting to reopen, and last weekend they needed to open up some of the surface parking lots to accommodate travelers.

Airport officials still project it won’t return to normal passenger numbers until 2024.

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