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Sarasota-Manatee
Business Observer Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 1 year ago

Airport's December passenger traffic increases 12%

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End-of-year figures show airport passenger traffic down 37% in 2020 compared to 2019.

SARASOTA — In December, passenger traffic at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport increased 12% over November.

December passengers totaled 119,114 compared to 106,195 passengers in November, according to a press release. 

Compared to December 2019, passenger traffic was 52% of the 2019 level of 228,015. End-of-year figures show airport passenger traffic down 37% with 1,236,986 passengers using the airport in 2020 compared to 1,966,950 passengers in 2019.

“For 2020, COVID-19 brought many challenges to the airport and airline industry," says Rick Piccolo, president and CEO of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, in the statement. "SRQ started the year with record-breaking growth, only to see traffic slow to less than 10,000 passengers for the month of April. Our parking lots went from having up to 2,000 cars parked per day to less than 50." 

During the pandemic, the airport implemented cleaning and safety measures and capitalized on the decrease in traffic to expedite construction projects, the release says. It repaved its short- and long-term parking lots, redesigned its screening checkpoint and accelerated airfield construction projects. 

Experiencing a shift in demand from business to leisure travelers, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport worked with Visit Sarasota County and the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to market the destination and promote beaches, outdoor activities and warm weather climate. 

In the statement, Piccolo also says future scheduled service currently loaded in the airline reservation system shows an increase in seats into and out of the market at levels near pre-pandemic. 

"With the vaccine currently being distributed worldwide, and SRQ now offering service on 10 airlines to 43 destinations, we are hopeful that 2021 will be a much better year for both the airport and the community,” he says. 

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport has announced several new routes and destinations in recent months. Next month, Southwest Airlines will begin service at the airport.

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