Passenger numbers continue to increase at Long Beach Airport but remain 60% below pre-pandemic levels through May, according to airport officials.

In May, 192,805 people traveled through the municipal airport, up by 31,836 from the month before. Passenger traffic was up a staggering 1,567% from the same month last year when less than 11,600 people used the airport. However, traffic remains 36.8% below May 2019.

Thanks to a slow start to the year, passenger traffic through Long Beach was still down 60.1% year-to-date through May, according to airport data.

“As more and more Americans get vaccinated, it’s been great to see travelers returning to Long Beach Airport,” spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall said in an email. “We still have a long way to go before we fully recover to pre-pandemic levels but all the signs look good for a much more robust season of summer travel.”

On June 13, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration recorded over 2 million passengers passing through airport checkpoints in a single day for the first time since March 7, 2020—a level reached eight more times since.

The TSA recorded a record low of 87,534 U.S. travelers on April 13, 2020.

With 1,092 tons in May, Long Beach air cargo was down 8.7% compared to the same month last year and 34% below May 2019. Year-to-date, cargo is down nearly 28% and more than 40% compared to 2020 and 2019, respectively.

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