Now that summer is here and the pandemic is a thing of the past, there’s a lot of pent up travel demand and Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) is a beneficiary of that demand. On Tuesday, June 26, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority – the board that oversees the airport and ultimately calls the shots there – met and heard the latest passenger stats, which once again show continued progress since pandemic lows.
The new statistics provide data up until the end of May.
In May of 2023, the number of passengers flying in and out of PTIA was up 9 percent over May of 2022. As for the year-to-date numbers of 2023 compared with 2022 ,through the end of May, passenger traffic was up 10 percent.
Though steady progress in passenger numbers has been made, passenger traffic in and out of the airport still isn’t back to pandemic levels. The month of May 2023 had 20 percent fewer passengers than in May of 2019, the year before the pandemic hit.
One good sign that the comeback is strong is that the number of total plane seats departing PTIA scheduled for July of 2023 is 100,509, which is up 20 percent over July of 2022. That number of seats is still, however, 16 percent lower than the number of departing seats in July of 2019.
On Tuesday, airport officials also reported that the “load factor” – that is, the average percentage of airplane seats departing from PTIA that were filled with passengers – was 74 percent this May.
May’s load factor was 2 percentage points lower than May of 2022 and 1 percentage points lower than May of 2019. The amount of cargo coming in and out of PTIA is something else that airport officials measure monthly. In May 2023, it was down 12 percent over May of 2022 and down 21 percent year to date. Cargo for May 2023, compared to May 2019, was up 5 percent.