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52% decline in ND Airline Passengers in 2020

Posted 1/15/21 (Fri)

North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports finished calendar year 2020 with a statewide total of
572,093 airline passenger boardings. This is a decrease of 619,476 passengers or an 52% decrease from
2019 and is the lowest passenger count that the state has recorded since calendar year 2003.
North Dakota passenger numbers have been adversely affected since the beginning of the pandemic when
the state experienced an immediate 95% percent decline in passenger numbers during the month of April.
Since that time, the state has been trending in a positive direction and has recovered to approximately
50% of pre-pandemic levels.

The recent growth in demand has encouraged airlines to begin slowly adding back flights and seat capacity
to our airports. Today, North Dakota still has a high level of air service availability based upon historical
standards as the state’s airports still provide the public with 10 non-stop destinations (three are seasonal).
All eight of the commercial service airports in North Dakota also continue to provide their communities
with reliable jet service.

“Our airports rose to the challenge that this past year brought for the aviation industry which resulted in
significant negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” stated Kyle Wanner, Executive Director of
the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. “Our airports never closed and they quickly worked to
implement recommended mitigations to help ensure that a safe environment exists for those who need
to travel. They were also able to accommodate emergency related personnel and products to efficiently
enter and depart our state. As we look forward to 2021, I remain optimistic that airline passenger
numbers will continue their current positive trend towards recovery.”

YTD Boarding Comparison

December Comparison

December Graph

four year trend

Comparison to National

Route Map