California’s Ontario sees highest-ever passenger count for a single month

An aircraft climbs out of Ontario Airport at dusk.
Photo Credit: Ontario International Airport

Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) continues its run of form with its highest-ever passenger count for a single month in April 2023.

A Fast-Growing Gateway


The airport in Southern California has seen its highest-ever number of international passengers in a single month in April. A result the airport has hailed as a positive sign of its continuing success, and growth and foreshadowing an expected busy summer season.

International passenger numbers increased 138% in April 2023 compared to the same period last year. Over 34,000 international passengers used the airport in the month.

Domestic passengers also increased, albeit more modestly, at a rate of 7.5% compared to 2022. The total number of domestic travellers for the month was almost half a million.

Passenger traffic was reported to have risen by almost 12% in the month to over 530,000. We reported on the airport’s double-digit growth in March and it looks as if this performance is continuing.

“At a time when many California airports are struggling to restore international services, Ontario is experiencing strong growth and we expect that trend to continue in the coming months,” said Atif Elkadi, Chief Executive Officer of Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA).

Photo credit: City of Ontario

Strong Month, Strong Year


The annual performance was also strong as the airport heads towards the peak summer season.

Total passenger numbers increased from almost 1.63 million in year-to-date 2022 to over 1.87 million in 2023. An increase of over 15%.

As international travel returned with the removal of COVID restrictions, the increase is noticeable. Total year-to-date for international travel was almost double as 85.7%. Again, domestic travel has also increased, by almost 13% to over 1.76 million.

Domestic travel still makes the vast majority of traffic through the airport. This equates to approximately 94% of total passenger traffic.

PassengerTotalsApr2023Apr2022ChangeYTD2023YTD2022Change
Domestic496,298461,3007.59 %1,769,2061,571,08012.6 %
International34,43514,441138.45 %104,56956,30085.7 %
Total530,733475,74111.56 %1,873,7751,627,38015.1 %
Source: Ontario International Airport

Cargo traffic continued to decline compared to its COVID cargo prominence. The airport saw a year-to-year decline of cargo in the month of 12.7%. In the first four months of 2023, cargo volume declined nearly 10% compared with the same period in 2022.

Air cargo(tonnage)Apr2023Apr2022ChangeYTD2023YTD2022Change
Freight53,82262,296-13.6 %224,354250,628-10.5 %
Mail4,7534,863-2.25 %18,70419,071-1.9 %
Total58,57667,159-12.78 %243,057269,699-9.9 %
Source: Ontario International Airport

As the peak summer season approaches in Southern California, the airport is positioning itself as an alternative to the larger hubs in the State.

“While our terminals will continue to be busy, passengers can expect our popular and hassle-free experience with reasonably priced parking, easy access to terminals, clean and light-filled facilities, efficient security screening and first-rate dining options,” Elkadi added.

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