For the third consecutive month, commercial air travel in and out of Long Beach Airport in May was above pre-pandemic levels, newly released data shows.

Last month, a total of 308,870 travelers flew into and out of the small municipal airport, a 1.2% increase over the same month in 2019. The passenger volume marks a staggering 2,570% increase from May 2020, when travel all but vanished as the coronavirus spread around the world.

“As we enter a busy summer travel season, passenger traffic is heating up at Long Beach Airport,” Director Cynthia Guidry said in an emailed statement to the Business Journal. “We’re excited to continue seeing a positive trend in visitorship that exceeds pre-pandemic levels.”

Commercial air travel nationwide, meanwhile, continues to trail 0.52% behind pre-pandemic levels, according to data from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. Last month, TSA recorded just under 74.2 million travelers passing through U.S. airports, compared to nearly 74.6 million in May 2019.

Back in Long Beach, commercial air travel from January through May is 1.3% ahead of the same period in 2019, data shows. For the first five months of the year, 1,426,284 people traveled through the airport, compared to 1,408,017 people four years ago.

The recovery for the airport was years in the making. It first surpassed pre-pandemic passenger volumes in March, which saw traffic 2.3% higher than the same month in 2019. The trend continued in April with volumes up 2.1%.

LGB surpasses pre-pandemic passenger volumes for 1st time, data shows

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