Passengers board a Southwest flight at Long Beach Airport, Thursday, May 20, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

For the sixth consecutive month, passenger volumes at Long Beach Airport were within 10% of pre-pandemic levels despite a slight slump in August, according to data released Monday.

During August, 293,444 people traveled through the small municipal airport, 9.7% less than the same month in 2019. The figure, however, marks a 571.7% improvement compared to August 2020 when only 43,685 people passed through the facility.

“We continued to see steady commercial passenger activity this summer, with August increasing 43.9% over last year,” airport Director Cynthia Guidry said in an email. “We expect this trend to continue and finish with a solid third quarter.”

Passenger numbers were closer to pre-pandemic levels the previous five months, airport data shows. In June and July, passenger volumes were within 4.1% and 4%, respectively, of 2019 levels.

April and May volumes were 7.6% and 7.4% below 2019 levels, respectively.

Travel recovery nationwide continues to pace behind Long Beach Airport, though the gap shrunk in August, data shows. Last month, 2,358,196 people traveled through U.S. airports, 11.1% lower than August 2019, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration.

In July, national passenger volume was 12% behind pre-pandemic levels.

In Long Beach, year-to-date passenger volumes remain 10.7% below 2019 levels. Through the end of August, 2,107,618 people passed through the local airport, a more than 154% increase from the same period in 2020 and a nearly 77% increase from last year, data shows.

Air cargo tonnage moving through Long Beach Airport remains well below pre-pandemic levels, according to city data. Last month, 1,087 tons of cargo were handled at the airfield, down nearly 35% from the same month in 2019 and 2% below August last year.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Business Journal.