Minneapolis St. Paul, the city’s major airport, continues to lag behind in the fight to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using data from RadarBox.com, it can be established that more routes and the welcoming of new airlines need to happen in order to come close to pre-COVID levels.
Without further ado, let’s get into the numbers…
For March 26-April 2, Minneapolis St. Paul Airport handled 892 movements, which represents a minute increase of 0.79% compared to the same period last year.
Against 2019 levels, the airport is currently trailing 293 movements to be level, which highlights the work that the airfield needs to do to grow moving forward.
Below is data for the airport in 2023 so far:
|Date||2019 Numbers||2022 Numbers||2023 Numbers||Percentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)|
|January 1-8||993 movements||794 movements||726 movements||-8.56%|
|January 8-15||991 movements||776 movements||791 movements||+1.93%|
|January 15-22||993 movements||802 movements||814 movements||+1.50%|
|January 22-29||922 movements||813 movements||820 movements||+0.86%|
|January 29-February 5||988 movements||805 movements||821 movements||+1.99%|
|February 5-12||972 movements||807 movements||834 movements||+3.35%|
|February 12-19||993 movements||824 movements||821 movements||-0.36%|
|February 19-25||1107 movements||842 movements||742 movements||-11.88%|
|February 26-March 5||1136 movements||859 movements||869 movements||+1.16%|
|March 5-12||1146 movements||896 movements||899 movements||+0.33%|
|March 12-19||1148 movements||887 movements||901 movements||+1.58%|
|March 19-26||1132 movements||885 movements||897 movements||+1.36%|
What we can see from the data is that Minneapolis St. Paul is dabbling in and out of growth compared to 2022 rather than 2019.
You can also see that the percentage increases are quite minimal, meaning more is needed in order to get as close as possible to 2019 levels.
Does Delta Air Lines Need to Add More Minneapolis Flights?
One question that can be asked from this is: Does Delta Air Lines need to add more Minneapolis flights?
Now, this is a question that has multiple answers within itself, especially with the airline being the largest operator out of the airport, as you will see from the image below.
The data shows that Minneapolis-St. Paul relies a lot on Delta Air Lines for overall operational success.
For Delta, there haven’t been many words about what the Summer 2023 expansion will look like from out of its many bases in the United States.
The last prevalent announcement came from operations in its Salt Lake City base, where a long-term lease expansion has been signed.
If Delta doesn’t add more flights into St. Paul during the Summer 2023 season, then there is the question of whether Minneapolis needs to approach other airlines to meet the 293 movement gap.
Because ultimately, if Delta doesn’t have the infrastructure to expand out of St. Paul, then the airport will need to look elsewhere to bring movement numbers back to pre-COVID levels and higher.
The airline does seem to be doing its part in encouraging growth out of the area, especially with its announcement made on March 27 regarding the resumption of daily non-stop services to Tokyo-Haneda Airport.
Could Numbers Be on The Rise?
That being said, however, could numbers be on the rise?
At the time, Brian Ryks, the CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said the following:
“MSP expects one of its busiest spring break seasons in several years as increased passenger demand continues to fuel aviation’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“We are prepared for peak travel days in the coming weeks, with more parking, more staff, and more concessions for our travelers flying off to sunny vacations and other late winter getaways.”
However, we are around three to four weeks into this suspected busy period, so are numbers stagnating? It does look to be the case for now.