Ontario Airport reports strong cargo volumes for five straight months
Ontario International Airport (ONT) saw air freight shipments increased nearly 27 percent compared to July last year even as passenger volume decreased by more than 60 percent.
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 percent increase in cargo tonnage.
In July, commercial freight totaled more than 79,400 tonnes, an increase of 26.9 percent 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 percent 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 traveled through ONT in July totaled more than 176,000, 64 percent 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 percent and 86 percent respectively.
In the first seven months of the year, ONT passengers totaled more than 1.5 million, half as many as the same period in 2019. Domestic passenger volume was more than 1.4 million, a drop of 50 percent, while international travelers numbered less than 70,000, a decrease of 60 percent.