Passenger Traffic At Ontario International Airport Continues To Increase

(December 4)  The number of passengers at Ontario International Airport rose 4.11 percent from January 2014 through October 2014, compared to the same period last year, according to airport officials.
The passenger numbers were particularly good for October. The airport saw a 7.68 percent jump for the month of October, the largest increase this year.
Airlines at Ontario International served 3,422,524 travelers compared to 3,287,423 travelers during the same ten month period in 2013.
“2014 is shaping up to be a good year for Ontario Airport,” said Jess Romo, the airport’s manager. “We’ve taken great care to support the airlines and other businesses on the field so that as the economy improves, the financial environment here at Ontario International Airport may foster continued growth. We also recognize the need to balance positive financial results with the equal need to make the airport experience pleasant and relaxed for our travelers.”
International traffic continues to grow with International carriers, AeroMexico and Volaris, serving 71,705 passengers, a 66.4 percent increase over the same period in 2013. Both provide a total of seven nonstop flights each week between Ontario and Guadalajara, Mexico. Volaris announced earlier this month that daily service to Guadalajara will be offered during the Holiday season, beginning December 17h and continuing at least through the end of the year.
“If we continue to see the healthy operations through the end of the year, we hope this provides an opportunity for carriers to reexamine market potential for increased service or new routes in the future. We also hope local and regional travelers will continue to support available service at Ontario International,” Romo said.
The 3.96 million passengers the airport had in 2013 was substantially below the 7.2 million that flew into and out of the airport in 2007. The airport’s performance numbers declined with the onset of the recession in 2007. Because the airport did not rebound quickly, even as other Southern California regional airports such as those in Orange County and Long Beach did, Ontario city officials have faulted the city of Los Angeles and its corporate arm that runs Ontario Airport, Los Angeles World Airports, for Ontario International’s stagnating passenger numbers.
Since 1967, Ontario Airport has been managed by Los Angeles pursuant to a joint powers authority. That management agreement was entered into because Los Angeles was able to use its control over gate positions at Los Angeles International Airport to induce airlines to use Ontario Airport, a medium-hub, full-service airport approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Ontario Airport flourished under Los Angeles’ management in the late 1960s, 1970s, 1080s, 1990s, and early to mid 2000s. In 1985, after the airport met performance criteria specified in the original joint operating agreement, the Ontario City Council deeded the airport to the city of Los Angeles for no consideration.
Utilizing bond money it secured, revenue from Los Angeles International Airport operations and Ontario International Airport operations and that obtained from other sources, Los Angeles completed over $500 million in improvements to Ontario Airport, including the addition of a second runway and the construction of two modern passenger terminals.
The airport continued to expand, reaching its record performance mark in 2007, with the aforementioned 7.2 million passengers. Since that time, as Los Angeles World Airports has continued with an energetic improvement plan at Los Angeles International Airport, Ontario officials have become increasingly strident in claiming Los Angeles is neglecting Ontario Airport. In June 2013, the city of Ontario sued Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports and the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. The suit maintains Los Angeles is purposefully giving Ontario Airport short shrift because it is pursuing a plan to generate more passengers and revenue at Los Angeles International Airport. In the suit, Ontario is asking Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask to void the agreement giving Los Angeles ownership and management control of Ontario Airport. Trask’s decision on a summary motion to return the airport to Ontario is pending.

Leave a Reply