After a Tuesday, June 29 meeting of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority – the seven-member board that runs Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) – the board released the latest passenger statistics that cover through the end of May and that also offer some forward-looking data.

As with other monthly data reports from the airport released this year, the stats show steady progress as the country and the world come out of the COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the new report, the number of passengers flying in and out of PTIA was up 45 percent in May 2022 over May 2021.

Even better, the year-to-date statistics, which cover from January 1 through the end of May, show that passenger traffic is up 91 percent over the same time period for last year.

Airport officials are hoping those numbers continue to grow as the pandemic gets further in the background and people start taking trips they’ve put off, in some cases, for two and a half years.  Some flyers are still wary of planning trips due to the large number of last-minute flight cancelations across the country that have been widely publicized in recent weeks.

Passenger numbers for PTIA are still not back up to the pre-pandemic levels.  For instance, in May of 2022, the number of flyers was down 26 percent compared to May 2019.

For the month of July, the airlines servicing PTIA will be offering fewer departing seats than they did last year.  The number of seats scheduled to be leaving PTIA – filled or unfilled – for July 2022 is expected to be 86,337, which is down 4 percent from July 2021 and down 28 percent from July 2019.

In July 2021, the number of departing seats was 89,766, while in July 2019, the number was 119,784.

Load factor – which is the “average percentage of airplane seats departing from PTIA that were filled with passengers” – was 76 percent in March 2022. March’s load factor was 16 percentage points higher than March of 2021 and 1 percentage point higher than March 2019.

Cargo shipments in and out of the airport have been a bright spot throughout the pandemic, and, in May of 2022, the amount of cargo in and out of the airport was up 3 percent in May 2022 over May 2021. It was up 5 percent year to date.

Looking at pre-pandemic comparisons, cargo in and out of the airport for May 2022  versus May 2019 was up 19 percent.