On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority. – the board that oversees the airport’s activities – met and released the latest batch of statistics that show the same story the monthly stats have shown for a long time.

Passenger traffic at the airport is recovering gradually from the pandemic lows, but it’s still not back to pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

At the October meeting, the statistics released covered September 2022 and the year-to-date numbers up until the end of September.  In September 2022, the number of passengers flying in and out of Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) was up 14 percent over September 2021.

Year-to-date comparisons between this year and last year show that the number of flyers using the airport was up a very healthy 40 percent.

However, there’s still quite a way to go to get back up to 2019 levels. Passenger numbers for September 2022 versus 2019 were down 22 percent.

The amount of cargo coming in and out of PTIA was more stable.  It was up less than one percentage point –  just 0.8 percent – in September 2022 versus September 2021. In the year-to-date numbers through September, the amount of cargo was up 5 percent.

Unlike passenger numbers, cargo numbers for the airport shot up during the pandemic, and, in fact, cargo amounts for September 2022 were up 46 percent over the same month in 2019.

In other stats released Tuesday, there were 89,149 total departing seats on passenger planes for November 2022 –  which was down 11 percent from November 2021 and down 26 percent from November 2019.  In November of 2021, the airport had a total of 99,940 departing seats and, in November of 2019, there were 119,894 departing seats on all airlines.

“Load factor” – in other words, the average percentage of airplane seats departing from PTIA  that had passengers in them – was 85 percent in July 2022.  That’s 6 percentage points higher than July 2021 and 5 points higher than July 2019.