11/27/2022

Phoenix Sky Harbor sees airport passenger numbers plummet amid Covid-19

March usually is the busiest month of the year at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, but in 2020 its usually high passenger numbers were nearly cut in half because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During March, passenger numbers began to drop dramatically about halfway through the month. In total, the region’s primary airport reported a total of 2,398,309 people flew into or out of Sky Harbor, a decrease of 47% from the same month in 2019.

The drop in passenger numbers does not just show how the coronavirus impacted the airport and the airlines, it also shows that related industries including rental cars, taxis, ride hailing, hotels, conventions and major events, were hit economically by the pandemic, meaning corresponding sales tax and hotel tax revenue took a massive hit.

The report shows that every single airline operating at Sky Harbor saw passenger numbers decrease compared to March 2019, except one. The lone airline that saw its passenger numbers increase was low-cost Mexican carrier Volaris, which has one of the lowest total monthly passenger counts out of all the airlines operating at Sky Harbor.

While airlines canceled numerous flights as well during March, the number of commercial airplane landings at Sky Harbor only dropped 11.4% from last year, meaning many of the flights that did land had plenty of empty seats.

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