Commercial air travel at Ontario International Airport (ONT) is showing signs of recovery for June based on published flight schedules, creating a sense of measured optimism among local officials that the worst of the unprecedented travel declines caused by the global coronavirus pandemic has passed.
According to current airline schedules, ONT will have an average 37 daily departures in June, a decrease of 46% compared with last June, yet a significant improvement over the 24 daily departures scheduled in May. The more than 50% increase in daily departures from May to June is a sign of encouragement for airport officials who have eagerly awaited indications that recovery is forthcoming.
“It may be too soon to say happy days are here again, but happier days might come earlier than some anticipated for ONT and our aviation partners,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “Since air travel volumes cratered virtually overnight in mid-March, we have scrambled to sanitize facilities, protect customers, visitors and those who work at the airport, and maintain payrolls. Needless to say, we are encouraged as airline bookings increase slowly but steadily and carriers restore flights accordingly.”
Thorpe also noted that all customers, visitors and employees must still wear appropriate face coverings while at ONT and onboard flights.
Nonstop service from ONT to seven destinations will remain suspended: Atlanta, Chicago (Midway), Dallas (Love Field), Houston (George Bush Intercontinental), New York (John F. Kennedy International), Orlando and Taiwan. Service to these destinations is tentatively scheduled to resume in July, according to future airline scheduled published this week.