Richmond International Airport sees record-breaking numbers for passengers
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Passenger numbers are taking off at Richmond International Airport.
Data shows the airport had a record-breaking spring. In March alone, they hosted nearly 385,000 passengers.
That increased from March 2022, when the airport hosted just over 334,000 passengers. This is the first new travel record since the pandemic began.
“I think it’s really great, and it shows there’s a demand. People want experiences versus just buying stuff,” traveler Stacey Nardi said.
Richmond International Airport Director of Marketing and Air Service Development Troy Bell says more people are getting the urge to take to the skies after many trips were paused because of COVID travel restrictions.
“People are feeling better now that the vaccine is kind of widespread. A little more time has passed. Most of COVID numbers, they’re not zero, but they’re a little bit better, so that helps,” Bell said.
During the height of the pandemic, Bell says numbers remained low, with less than 14,000 travelers on the go.
It wasn’t until 2021 when traffic picked back up again, and by spring 2022, those numbers reached about 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
Bell says now, they’re adding 35 new routes to keep up with the growing demand.
These destinations include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and others.
“We have one as soon as Saturday going to Las Vegas. Spirit brings a new route on. Breeze is busy mid-month. Los Angeles is the headliner there,” Bell said.
The airport’s overall record number of passengers was in August 2019, when they hosted just under 400,000 passengers.
As the airport anticipates a busy summer, Bell says they hope to break another record.
“We think it could be a really busy summer,” Bell said.
Meanwhile, Bell says they’ve also seen a 50% increase in March for cargo.
“Amazon has made a significant impact coming through with e-commerce and lots of deliveries in the Richmond Region,” Bell said.
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