For the second month in a row, the passenger volume at Long Beach Airport was above its pre-pandemic level, according to data released Tuesday.
Throughout April, 303,086 people traveled through the small municipal airport, up 2.1% from the 296,941 passengers in April 2019. Air travel all but disappeared in April 2020, with the airfield seeing only 6,299 travelers the entire month.
It has been a slow recovery for LGB. April’s volume marks a 10.5% increase from the same month last year, according to city data. March was the first month that airport staff reported the airport had surpassed pre-pandemic volumes.
“Last month’s passenger figures came in strong once again,” airport Director Cynthia Guidry said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “We’re looking forward to a busy Memorial Day weekend, followed by robust demand for air travel this summer.”
At the national level, however, passenger volumes continue to struggle to rebound. Last month, fewer than 69.9 million people traveled through U.S. airports, compared to over 70.1 million in April 2019, according to data from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Back in Long Beach, passenger volumes are up 1.3% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2019. From January through April, 1,117,414 people flew into and out of Long Beach.
Southwest Airlines, the city’s leading carrier, has been instrumental in the airport’s recovery. For the first four and a half months of the year, Southwest held 45 of the noise-controlled airfield’s 58 daily flight slots. Over the past year, the carrier has announced nonstop service to 10 new destinations.
Earlier this month, Southwest was awarded three more flight slots, which were relinquished by American Airlines earlier this year. At the same time, Delta Air Lines gave up two of its seven slots, which are likely to also be awarded to Southwest.
Southwest awarded 3 more Long Beach flight slots, Delta gives up 2