Leisure Travel Leads the Recovery in Airline Passenger Demand

Kyle C. Wanner, North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

One year after COVID-19 concerns caused the largest monthly decline in airline passenger demand in history, North Dakota’s airports continue their work to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. The state’s eight commercial service airports posted a total of 62,163 airline passenger boardings during the recent month of April.  This is a significant increase from the 4,964 passengers experienced during April of 2020 when the aviation industry experienced an astounding 95% decline in passengers due to the initial COVID-19 mitigations being put into place.

A United Airlines plane preparing to land.

The demand for air travel has seen a steady recovery in recent months, however the current passenger counts are still approximately 32% below the normal pre-pandemic levels. The industry has been attributing the recent passenger increases to a recovery in the domestic leisure travel segment of the market. 

“Our airports and aviation industry have endured a long road to recovery since last April when passenger levels dropped 95% as our country worked together to slow the spread of COVID-19.” stated Kyle Wanner, Executive Director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. “Leisure travel has been growing and allowing for an in initial recovery in air travel demand.  As the nation’s recovery from the pandemic continues, we would also like to see additional business travel begin to cycle back into the market.”

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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