Air Travel Demand Remains Strong Throughout North Dakota

North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports posted a total of 84,925 airline passenger boardings during the month of September 2022. This is a 13% increase from the 74,943 boardings that the state experienced last year in September 2021.  It is also only 5% below September 2019’s pre-pandemic passenger counts of 89,925.

Signs that air travel demand remains strong in North Dakota is prevalent throughout the data.  Highlights include:

  • Five of the commercial service airports are showing higher passenger volumes in this month than were reported during the last pre-pandemic September that occurred in 2019.
  • North Dakota’s largest airport facility – The Hector International Airport in Fargo, had its best September on record with a total of 35,360 passengers.  This is a 3.6% increase or an additional 1,225 passengers than its previous best month of September which was set in 2019.
  • The state’s airline passenger volume is currently only 5% below pre-pandemic levels which is also similar to the recovery in demand seen in air travel throughout the United States.  Since March of 2020, this is the closest that North Dakota has been to reaching pre-pandemic passenger counts.
  • A majority of the North Dakota airports continue to report average airline load factors above 80% which is another indicator that flights are full and the demand for air travel is healthy.

“North Dakota’s air service continues to show an elevated level of demand for the seats that are available,” stated Kyle Wanner, Executive Director for the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. “The message continues to be the same in that our communities would like to see additional flights and purchasable seats become available for the flying public.  As the airlines continue to make decisions on where to assign their available resources; we hope that the positive passenger demand seen in North Dakota will help to justify and attract additional flight and seat allocations to our markets.”