THE COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact operations at Ontario International Airport (ONT) in July as passenger volume decreased by more than 60% while air freight shipments increased nearly 27% compared to July last year.
Ontario has been a focal point in the Southern California supply chain network throughout the pandemic as local residents have increasingly relied on e-Commerce to supply their households, leading to higher cargo volumes through ONT.
Since the onset of the pandemic, ONT has recorded five straight months of better than 20% increases in cargo tonnage.
In July, commercial freight totaled more than 79,400 tonnes, an increase of 26.9% from the same month a year ago. In the first seven months of the year, ONT processed more than 500,000 tonnes of air freight, 21.2% more than the same period in 2019.
“These are extraordinary times for the air travel industry and airports around the world, including Ontario, are feeling the brunt of the impact of the coronavirus,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority.
“Though air travel is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, freight shipments are a great insurance policy for ONT, and we expect they will continue to be a source of strength and optimism for the rest of this year and into the next.”
The number of passengers who travelled through ONT in July totalled more than 176,000, 64% lower than July 2019, though an improvement over recent months. More than 172,600 were domestic passengers while the number of international customers was over 3,600, decreases of 63% and 86% respectively.