Northern Virginia’s two major airports remain stuck at less than 30 percent of normal passenger totals, based on new data.
September’s passenger count at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was down 78.4 percent from a year before, with Washington Dulles International Airport down 73.2 percent.
Figures were reported Nov. 19 by the Metropolitan Metropolitan Airports Authority, which operates both facilities.
Efforts to recover passengers at the two airports remain mired in challenges – Reagan National is focused on business travel, which has cratered since the COVID pandemic hit, while about a third of usual traffic at Dulles is international in nature, which is down nearly 90 percent at the airport compared to a year ago.
For September, American Airlines remained the dominant carrier at Reagan National; the airline and its regional affiliates carried 52.3 percent of all passengers during the month, up from 50.9 percent a year before.
United Airlines solidified its position as dominant carrier at Dulles; the airline and its regional affiliates carried 76.3 percent of all passengers, up from 65 percent a year ago, with the bump up largely due to the steep decline in service by international carriers like British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Avianca and Air China.
For the year to date, passenger totals are down 65 percent at Reagan National, 66 percent at Dulles.
The region’s third airport – Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall, operated by the Maryland state government – has seen somewhat less of a downturn, because its major carrier (Southwest) focuses on leisure travel. As of press time, BWI had not yet reported its September passenger totals.
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