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Freight Volume Surges at Ontario International Airport as Passenger Numbers Drops

One of Ontario Airport’s terminals (Photo: Frederick Dennstedt (originally posted to Flickr as Ontario Airport) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

This week, California’s Ontario International Airport announced a 26.64 percent increase in freight volume for the month of April 2020. That represents the airport’s second straight month of gains above 20 percent.

75,171 tons of freight were loaded and unloaded at Ontario during April 2020 compared to 59,359 tons in April of 2019. This increase is now the highest year to year freight volume increase since the City of Ontario and San Bernardino County took control of the facility. April 2020’s freight numbers eclipsed the prior highest increase by nearly four percent.

The previous high was set in January 2018 when the airport recorded a 22.8 percent increase in freight volume. Notably, UPS Airlines maintains a hub at Ontario International. The cargo airline has been heavily involved in the movement of medical supplies needed on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, UPS operated hundreds of flights for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Project Airbridge. Ontario International’s year-to-date freight volume is up 16.5 percent as compared to this time in 2019.

The Ontario International Airport Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Thorpe, commented on the April 2020 freight volume increase: “Ontario Airport continued to play a leading role in Southern California’s vast supply chain network in April as the nation’s transportation industries responded to rapid changes in the coronavirus landscape,” he said. “Over the past few years our airport has proved to be a primary driver for the regional economy and in the last two months it has shined under a bright national spotlight.”

While freight volume surged at Ontario International in April, passenger volume dropped drastically due to the COVID-19 crisis. According to the airport, passenger volume for April 2020 was down a stunning 93.5 percent as compared to April 2019. In April of 2019, the airport saw 444,948 passengers. Last month, that number dropped to 28,916. The decrease is in line with other airports in the United States and is yet another example of the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on passenger air travel. Ontario International’s overall passenger volume for 2020 is down 30.7 percent as compared to this time in 2019.

Ontario International Airport is located approximately 35 miles outside of Los Angeles, Calif.

Jordan Green


  • Jordan Green

    Jordan joined the AG team in 2018 after attending AAviationDay in Philadelphia. He is actively pursuing his private pilot certificate and has been an aviation enthusiast since childhood. An attorney by trade, Jordan jokingly refers to himself as a “recovering litigator” and now focuses on subcontracts management. Jordan focuses his writing on innovations in commercial aviation, aviation history, and other interesting topics he feels are worthy of discussion in the community.

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