At the peak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, passenger volumes at New York and New Jersey airports went as low as four percent of the pre-pandemic levels. The three airports in the area, New York’s JFK and Laguardia (LGA) and New Jersey’s Newark airport (EWR), make up the most extensive airport system in the United States.
The three largest US airlines operate their east-coast hubs at the three major airports. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have their hubs at JFK and LGA. United Airlines operates out of EWR as one of its major east-coast hub airports.
Pre-pandemic volumes surpassed
The Port Authority announced Thursday that passenger volumes at New York area airports had surpassed the pre-pandemic levels. Alongside three major airports, the Port Authority includes Stewart International Airport (SWF) in the Hudson Valley and Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey.
In November, the Port Authority airports handled a whopping 11 million (primarily domestic) passengers. The volume represented 102% of the passenger volume in November 2019. The Chairman of Port Authority, Kevin O’Toole, stated his gratification on the combined accomplishments of airport authorities.
“We are extremely gratified to see our airports at pre-pandemic levels after more than two years of a global pandemic that left us homebound and filled with wanderlust,” – Kevin O’Toole, Chairman Port Authority.
The November numbers came as a result of the 8% increase in thanksgiving travel across the United States compared to the volumes during thanksgiving 2019. While the New York area airports have seen a gradual increase in passenger volumes since the beginning of the year, the busiest travel weekend pushed the numbers past pre-pandemic levels.
In October, Port Authority reported a 98% increase in air passenger volume across its airports. Additionally, the vehicular traffic volumes across New York area bridges and tunnels had equaled those of October 2019.
This year, the Port Authority has achieved significant milestones in terms of redevelopment projects across the three major airports. From new terminals to renovations and implementation of new capabilities to improve passenger experience, the Port Authority has been working hard to handle large passenger numbers for the end-of-the-year holiday season.
LaGuardia airport substantially completed its $8 billion transformation project this year. All remaining facilities in the new Terminal B opened this year, while significant upgrades were made to Delta’s Terminal C.
With nearly one million square feet of available space, the new Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport was completed in November. The new terminal comprises modern check-in, security, and baggage claim facilities.
O’Toole stated that the investments made in the major regional airports are critically important for the passengers and airport personnel. As the New York area airports continue to recover from the aviation downturn due to the pandemic, positive passenger experience through the airport is of utmost importance.
More than 130 million Americans are expected to travel during the 2022 holiday season. It includes the period between December 23, 2022, and January 2, 2023. Port Authority forecasts strong demand for air travel across its airports during this time.
Millions of passengers are expected to pass through these airports by the end of the holiday season. Passengers will experience state-of-the-art airport facilities and a seamless travel experience through these airports.
What are your thoughts on the pre-pandemic volume at New York area airports? Are you traveling through the Port Authority Airport System this holiday season? Tell us in the comments section.