Passenger traffic continues to climb at Long Beach Airport but remains low compared to last year and pre-pandemic levels, according to airport data.
Just under 114,500 passengers traveled through the municipal airport during March, a nearly 15% decrease from the same month the year before when the pandemic first set in and forced lockdowns. Compared to 2019, passenger traffic is down 60.5%.
Though still far below normal levels, the March figures show a promising trend of increased demand for travel. Total passenger traffic in February was down 82% from 2020. Air travel bottomed out early in the pandemic in April, when passenger traffic plummeted to 98% below the same month in 2019.
“With the increased distribution of vaccines and the nine new destinations added in the last month, we are finally starting to turn a corner in our passenger traffic,” airport spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall said in an email. “The road to recovery will be long, but we are seeing very encouraging signs, especially with our new service to Honolulu and Maui.”
Year-to-date passenger traffic as of March was 207,024, a 70.5% reduction from the same period last year and a nearly 74.3% decrease from 2019.
Total air cargo passing through the airport totaled 1,034 tons, down 24.7% from the same month last year and 42.7% from March 2019.