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Airline boardings continue recovery

Airline boardings in Minot and at other airports in the state continue to rebound after a precipitous drop last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports during the month of August posted 43,559 passengers boardings, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. This is higher than the statewide passenger volume seen in each of the last four months and amounts to a 43% retention rate of the passengers served during the same month last year.

Minot’s August boardings totalled 7,611, nearly 53% of the number of passengers a year earlier. For the year, through August, boardings of 55,434 represent about 51% of the 2019 boardings for the same period.

North Dakota’s airline passenger demand has been recovering faster than the national average, which is currently estimated to be at 29% of pre-pandemic levels, the commission reported.

“When comparing current passenger throughput to pre-pandemic levels, North Dakota’s airline passenger retention is an estimated 14% higher than the national rate,” said Kyle Wanner, executive director of the aeronautics commission. “The higher airline passenger retention in our rural state reflects North Dakota’s resilience and shows the importance that air service has to our communities. Our state’s ongoing recovery in air travel demand also shows that the travelling public is trusting the safety enhancements that our airports and airlines have put into place to accommodate COVID-19 concerns.”

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