Ontario International Airport (ONT) continued its run of impressive growth in 2019, welcoming 5.5 million air travelers for the year, the highest level in more than a decade, airport officials said.
America’s fastest-growing airport also drew more cargo activity with shipments of commercial freight up 5.1 percent.
“Ontario International Airport is fast becoming the hub of economic activity we believed it could be when we assumed control three years ago,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA). “Ontario’s evolution as a viable option for air travel in Southern California is no longer a dream, but a reality. And the reality is that airlines, air travelers and freight shippers recognize Ontario’s value as a first-rate airport with the infrastructure, services and amenities that appeal to customers.”
During calendar year 2019, ONT passenger volume increased 9.1 percent from 5.1 million in 2018 to more than 5.5 million. Domestic travel rose 8 percent from 4.8 million travelers in 2018 to more than 5.2 million. The number of international passengers increased 33.4 percent from 227,883 to more than 304,000.
Ontario closed 2019 with nearly 515,000 passengers traveling through the airport in December, an increase of 16.7 percent over December 2018. More than 485,000 were domestic passengers while almost 30,000 were international travelers, increases of 16.5 percent and 20.5 percent, respectively.
December was the sixth straight month of double-digit gains in total passenger volume.
Commercial freight also rose significantly in December to more than 88,000 tons, an increase of 18.1 percent over December 2018. For the year, freight shipments increased to more than 760,000 tons, up 5.1 percent over 2018.
“The December and year-end numbers show the tremendous momentum with which Ontario begins 2020,” Thorpe said. “We look forward to new service to Newark, Miami and Las Vegas, as well as Central America in the coming months, offering more customers the easy, hassle-free experience that is Ontario’s hallmark.”
In 2019, ONT was the fastest growing airport in the U.S. for the second straight year, based on results of the Tested Reader Survey conducted by Global Traveler, a leading industry publication geared to frequent business and luxury travelers. Ontario also holds the designation of favorite alternative airport in the U.S., according to web publication Trazee Travel.