Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport reported that March was its busiest month since February 2020, with more than 3 million passengers going through the terminals.
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The region’s primary airport recorded 3,002,677 total passengers that either flew into or out of Sky Harbor during March, according to an April 28 report from the Phoenix Aviation Department. That’s a 25.2% increase from the 2.4 million people who went through Sky Harbor’s terminals in March 2020.
The number of passengers in March increased 67.5% compared to the 1.8 million passengers in February.
March is usually the busiest month at Sky Harbor every year because it is the height of the Valley’s tourism season. While this year’s season was in flux because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were still a number of events that brought people to the state including Major League Baseball’s Cactus League spring training and the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale.
While a good sign for the airport, the airlines and the Valley’s struggling tourism industry, passenger numbers are still far from 2019 levels. March’s numbers were down 33.6% from the record-breaking 4.5 million passengers in March 2019.
American Airlines (Nasdaq: AAL), the largest carrier at Sky Harbor, accounted for the most travelers in March with 1,198,356 total passengers, which is a 12.2% from March 2020 when Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.
Sky Harbor’s second largest carrier – Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) – saw its total March passenger count increase 56.1% from the same month a year prior to 1,069,318. Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) saw passenger numbers increase 38.7% compared to March 2020, but United Airlines Inc. (NYSE: UAL), the fourth largest carrier at Sky Harbor, saw a 7.1% decrease in monthly passenger numbers to 163,155.
A total of 14,107 flights landed at Sky Harbor in March, which was down 8.6% from the number of landings in March 2020. That decrease in flights but increase in total passengers indicates that airlines are selling more seats on a reduced number of flights.