More than 363,000 airline passengers moved through Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) in February, an increase of 2.7%, or roughly 10,000 travelers, over the same month last year. The increase was driven by a 188% jump in international travelers.
The number of international passengers rose to more than 20,000 last month, from 7,000 in February 2018. Meanwhile, the number of domestic travelers decreased slightly from almost 347,000 to approximately 343,000, a change of slightly more than 1%.
“Ontario continues to prove itself a viable international gateway in Southern California,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “While we might see minor fluctuations in domestic travel from time to time for reasons not unique to Ontario, international customers are choosing the ease of access, convenience and amenities that have become hallmarks of America’s fastest-growing aviation gateway.”
Air cargo declined by 2.6% in February to 51,200 tons from 52,600 tons in February last year. Commercial freight decreased from more than 50,000 tons to 49,000 tons while mail shipments were essentially flat at 2,100 tons.
Thorpe noted that the summer travel season is expected to be busy at ONT since several major air carriers have announced new flights beginning in June. Delta Air Lines will launch daily non-stop service to its hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; United Airlines will begin one flight a day to its Texas hub, George Bush Intercontinental Airport; and Southwest Airlines will add new service to San Francisco International Airport with four daily flights.
Southwest will also add a third daily flight (Monday-Friday) to Denver International Airport in June.