Phoenix: Post-vaccination travel rebound: Here’s how busy the Phoenix, Mesa airports were in June

Phoenix: Post-vaccination travel rebound: Here's how busy the Phoenix, Mesa airports were in June

Melissa Yeager | Arizona Republic

Troy Warren for PhoenixNewsAndTalk.Com


If airline passenger numbers are any indication, the pent-up demand for post-vaccination leisure travel has been unleashed.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport inched closer in June to a near return of its pre-pandemic traffic, while Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport saw its first increase in 2021 compared to 2019. 

Sky Harbor reported 3.6 million passengers in June 2021. That’s down just 5% from June 2019, when it welcomed 3.8 million.

Overall, passenger traffic at Sky Harbor is still down significantly in 2021 compared to  2019. So far this year, 16.8 million passengers have used the airport, a decrease of 28.5% compared to 23.5 million during the same period in 2019. 

International travel, business travel and travel for major events still have not returned. But airlines have added flights to Phoenix as leisure travel has rebounded and customers demand outdoor destinations. 

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway sets record in June

In June, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in east Mesa, which caters largely to leisure travelers, saw its first month of growth compared to 2019. 

It welcomed 151,219 passengers in June. A press release said it was “the first year-over-year commercial passenger growth since the pandemic started in March 2020.” 


“June is the kickoff to the summer travel season, and we are encouraged and hopeful that this trend will continue,” Mesa Mayor John Giles, chairman of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, said in the release. 

The addition of Avelo Airlines this summer helped push the airport past its 2019 performance. 

This fall, Gateway Airport will be served by six domestic and international airlines:  Allegiant, Avelo, WestJet, Swoop, Sun Country and Flair.

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By Troy Warren

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