Passenger Traffic Plummets at MSP in 2020

It comes as no surprise, but the extreme drop in the number of airline passengers worldwide in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic is still mind-boggling. After ten consecutive years of year-over-year passenger growth, last year saw a 62 percent reduction in airline travelers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

MSP served a record 39-million air travelers in 2019, so the drop to only 14.9 million in 2020 is startling, to say the least. Of course, airports around the globe experienced similar declines, but as the largest Delta Air Lines’ hub after the carrier’s operation at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which for many years has been the world’s busiest airport, the quieter skies around the metro area have been clearly evident for nearly a year.

Brians Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) that operates the airport commented, “We experienced the largest drop in air travel demand in aviation history in 2020….We hope to see a significant increase in demand in the latter half of 2021, particularly in leisure travel, as the COVID-19 vaccination program moves forward.”

In the most recent “normal” air travel year, MSP was the 17th busiest airport in the U. S. in terms of passengers served. Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles International (LAX), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) and Denver International (DEN) were the five busiest airports serving airlines in the country.

Published by iFlyMSP

After a 35-year travel industry career, the time has come to kick back and relax. Well, not exactly, but it is time to travel without a business schedule dictating where and when. Over the years I've traveled extensively by air for work, both domestically and internationally. I've been to some incredibly exciting and beautiful destinations, and some others, not so much. So now it's my turn (and hopefully yours), to explore the world at a more leisurely pace. Whether you want to discover the U.S. or another continent, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport is a great starting point. And that's what this blog is all about. I'm not here to assist the rich and famous in figuring out how to best earn and utilize their millions of airline miles and hotel points. Instead, my focus will be on the average Joe and Josephine. Hard-working people (like you!) who have saved up over time for their once or twice a year escape from reality. So if you're contemplating a getaway from MSP or the Upper Midwest via the Twin Cities, you've come to the right place. Happy trails!

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