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ONT finishes 2021 strong

Ontario International Airport accommodated nearly 4.5 million passengers in 2021, a 77 percent year-over-year increase, according to data released Monday.

More significantly, the airport last year attracted roughly 80 percent of its passenger count in pre-pandemic 2019, a sign that’s its recovery from COVID-19 stayed strong for 12 months, the Ontario International Airport Authority reported.

Ontario International also handled more than 890,000 tons of cargo last year, only a 3.7 percent decline from 2020 when e-commerce traffic was at its peak.

“We saw encouraging signs of recovery in 2021, as demand for air travel neared pre-pandemic levels,” said Alan D. Wapner, the authority’s board president, in the statement. and “we look forward to welcoming more travelers as public health authorities continue efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus variants.”

More than 467,000 passengers passed through the airport in December, 145 percent higher than December 2020 and 90 percent of December 2019. Those numbers are “remarkable” considering the number flights cancelled towards the end of the year because of Omicron, the authority stated.

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