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Ontario International Airport: SoCal gateway continues to exceed pre-pandemic levels

Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) will be festive and busy over the long Independence Day weekend, officials said today, with passenger numbers expected to be 13% higher than the same holiday period in pre-pandemic 2019.

The airport anticipates 75,711 travelers from July 1-5, a significant increase over the 66,727 passengers who flew into and out of ONT over the corresponding period three years ago.

“Demand for air travel in Southern California remains strong, even more so at Ontario where we have surpassed pre-pandemic passenger totals for several months,” said Atif Elkadi, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “We recognize that the resurgence of air travel has not been as smooth for some in the industry, but we’re well prepared and ready to serve our customers with a stress-free, passenger-friendly experience that is our hallmark.”

Elkadi said travelers driving themselves to ONT can take advantage of the airport’s online reservation system to pre-book parking at discounted rates close to the airport’s passenger terminals. Easy curbside access is available for pick-up and drop-off.

Airline passengers will continue to experience efficient security screening offering bacteria-resistant screening trays, TSA Pre-Check and recently added CLEAR expedited security lanes in both terminals.

Travelers also will notice additional conveniences and amenities inside the airport including hydration stations, pet relief areas, disability services and specialized nursing rooms.

New Aspire premium lounges are accessible to travelers in both ONT terminals. Food, beverage and retail concessions are open throughout the airport and can be also accessed via mobile ordering.  

Customers can still expect modern, entry halls bathed in natural light, frequently cleaned restrooms, spacious gate areas with ample seating, charging stations and free, dependable Wi-Fi.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, ONT has added new destinations including Charlotte, Honolulu, Mexico City, Reno-Tahoe and San Salvador. The Southern California gateway now offers nonstop service to more than 30 popular destinations.

From January through May this year, ONT reported more than 2 million domestic air travelers and   73,000 international passengers, 1.4% higher than the same period in 2019 and 74.6% greater than last year. Officials anticipate 1.7 million travelers at ONT this summer, making it the busiest since 2008.

Elkadi pointed to significant population shifts away from coastal areas to the Inland Empire in recent years for helping ONT set its industry-leading pace in rebounding from the effects of the pandemic.

According to U.S. Census data, population growth in the Inland Empire has been so robust that the San Bernardino-Riverside-Ontario Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has surpassed that of San Francisco to become the 12th-largest in the U.S.  Moreover, the Inland Empire has the highest recovery in employment among the largest 15 MSAs in California.

About Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which offers nonstop commercial jet service to 33 major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan. 

About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA)

The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport’s four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Mayor Pro Tem Alan D. Wapner (President), Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge(Vice President), Ontario City Council Member Jim W. Bowman (Secretary), San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (Commissioner) and retired business executive Julia Gouw (Commissioner).

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Dmytro Makarov

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