During the month of October, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission reported a total of 47,574 passenger boardings, with numbers steadily increasing over past months.
The numbers amount to a 47 percent retention of the passengers that the airports experienced during the same month last year. This is also the highest monthly demand in airline passengers that North Dakota has experienced since the pandemic began last Spring.
“The positive trend in passenger numbers over the last few months is an encouraging sign that travelers are beginning to once again look at aviation as a safe and cost-effective mode of transportation.” stated Kyle Wanner, Executive Director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. “Domestic airline fares in our state are currently averaging around a 10-year low which has greatly helped to spur passenger demand. Additionally, the recent news of the successful COVID-19 vaccine trials has helped to provide hope that the recovery in air passenger demand will continue into the near future.”
At Williston Basin International Airport, boardings rose from September, rising from 1,340 passengers to 2,037 in October. Year-to-date numbers show Williston at 27,310 enplanements for 2020 versus 73,616 for 2019.
Service at XWA had been reduced due to the pandemic, which contributed significantly to this year’s lower numbers. Service began to pick up again in October with the addition of a second daily departure from United Airlines.
“XWA is continuing to see modest growth as we head into the holiday travel season.” Airport Director Anthony Dudas told the Williston Herald. “We saw a 45 percent increase in passengers in October as compared to September and that can be directly attributed to United Airline’s addition of a second daily flight to Denver. We’re excited that this additional flight has been well received by our community and we’re optimistic that our community will continue to utilize XWA as we navigate the challenges associated with the pandemic.”
Full statistics can be found on the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission website at www.aero.nd.gov.