Passenger activity hit pandemic-era records this summer at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The airport’s latest monthly statistics show increased demand over the summer travel season that began Memorial Day and concludes this coming Labor Day weekend.
MSP monthly passenger volume peaked at more than 2.8 million total travelers in July, which represents the latest month airline data was made available. This marks the airport’s busiest month since February 2020. More than 30,000 passengers were screened through MSP security checkpoints in a single day 13 times in July, and weekly security checkpoint averages reached their highest levels since March 2020.
Enplanements (passenger boardings) at MSP increased to 75% of pre-pandemic levels in July across an average of 420 daily scheduled departures. By comparison, July 2020 enplanements were 25% of pre-pandemic levels with 249 average daily scheduled departures. From January to July 2021, total passenger numbers are 57% of 2019 totals and have trended positively each month this year.
“We are seeing the results of stronger summer travel with certain days in July exceeding 2019 levels,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which operates MSP. “Although the impact of COVID-19 variants on the fall travel season remains uncertain, there are still many positive developments in our recovery. We look forward to welcoming a new air carrier to MSP this fall, continuing to build back our international connectivity and adding new domestic routes to the schedule.”
Allegiant Air is set to begin service at MSP October 1, offering non-stop flights to six locations. The airline will become the 18th to operate at MSP when it starts flights to Destin, Palm Beach and Punta Gorda, Fla.; Asheville, N.C.; Phoenix; and Los Angeles.
Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines will also introduce two new non-stop routes out of MSP this fall, adding service to Ashville, N.C. and Palm Beach, Fla. beginning in October.
KLM’s non-stop route between MSP and Amsterdam restarted on August 31, marking the tenth international route to return since the start of the pandemic. Air Canada’s non-stop service to Toronto returns in early September, and Delta Air Lines’ non-stop route between MSP and Winnipeg, Manitoba restarts mid-September.
MSP airlines are currently scheduled to operate an average of 399 daily departures in September, up from 288 in 2020. Airlines are operating 187 total routes, compared to 129 routes one year ago.
Federal regulations require all individuals to wear face coverings inside terminals and aboard aircraft through January 2022. The health and safety of travelers, visitors and airport employees remains the focus of the airport’s Travel Confidently MSP program, which includes vigorous cleaning, access to contactless hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the terminals and more than 200 protective barriers at major passenger interaction points.
MSP offers prebooked parking that guarantees a spot for customers and gives them a touchless experience by using a QR code from their online parking confirmation to enter and exit the structure. Prebooked customers can save $7 per day on daily parking at Terminal 1 when they book online and park between September 3 and 6.