Leisure travel leads ND air travel recovery

One year after COVID-19 concerns caused the largest monthly decline in airline passenger demand in history, North Dakota’s airports continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

The state’s eight commercial service airports posted 62,163 airline passenger boardings in April, up from the 4,964 passengers experienced during April 2020. The demand for air travel has seen a steady recovery in recent months; however, passenger counts are still about 32% below the normal pre-pandemic levels, the commission noted.

“Our airports and aviation industry have endured a long road to recovery since last April when passenger levels dropped 95% as our country worked together to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Kyle Wanner, executive director of the Aeronautics Commission. “Leisure travel has been growing and allowing for an in initial recovery in air travel demand. As the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we would also like to see additional business travel begin to cycle back into the market.”

The Minot airport saw 9,115 passengers in April, up from 801 a year earlier, although still down from 12,743 in April 2019. Commercial boardings in 2021 through April totalled 31,457, down from 34,858 for the same period in 2020 and 52,367 in 2019.


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