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Business Courier:  CVG's passenger count rises as pandemic eases; here's how much

Cincinnati Business Courier / Chris Wetterich / June 1, 2021

The number of passengers traveling from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport hit its highest level since the start of the pandemic in 2020, reaching 60% in April compared with the same month in 2019.

“It’s the best rate of performance we’ve had coming out of the pandemic,” said Bobby Spann, CVG’s vice president for external affairs.

In April 2021, 219,258 passengers boarded a plane at CVG compared with 365,420 in April 2019. In April 2020, only 19,784 people were enplaned.

For 2021 to date, the number of passengers is down 48.2% compared with 2019, a little better than what was budgeted, Spann said.

Delta carried the most passengers in April, with American coming in second and ultra-low cost carriers Allegiant and Frontier coming in third and fourth, respectively. Southwest was fifth, and United was sixth.

United is flying four new nonstop routes aimed at leisure travelers: Portland, Maine; Hilton Head Island, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; and Pensacola, Fla.

“Everybody’s looking for leisure revenue in the absence of corporate travel,” Spann said. “We identified some niche opportunities.”

Of the routes, Hilton Head has sold the best, while Portland is No. 2.

“Most of the carriers are seeing some very positive results,” Spann said.

In April, U.S. air traffic was at 59% of 2019 levels, with CVG at 63%.

During the week of May 9, ticket sales activity for CVG was at 82% of its 2019 levels, compared with 54% nationally. Larger markets lag mid-sized markets like CVG, Spann said.

“We should expect the positive trend we’ve seen to continue,” he added. “Some of the bigger markets … haven’t rebounded at the same level as the medium and small markets have.”

FULL STORY HERE (subscription-based)