Higher Passenger Volumes in Holiday Forecast at Ontario International Airport
Ontario International Airport (ONT) is well prepared for an expected year-over-year surge in passenger volumes this holiday travel season, continuing the airport’s continued improvement since its transition to local ownership.Overall, more than 432,000 air travelers will be welcomed at the airport during the Thanksgiving and winter holidays, 6.2 percent more than a year ago.Passenger levels during the Thanksgiving travel period, Nov. 18 through Nov. 28, are forecast to increase 7.9 percent over last year to 151,100. The busiest travel days will be Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 26, when more than 19,000 passengers are expected.Travel during the winter holidays from Dec. 15 to Jan. 4 is expected to increase 5.4 percent. Officials anticipate 281,313 airline passengers will travel through ONT during the three-week period. More than 19,000 are expected on the busiest days, Friday, Dec. 22, and Tuesday, Dec. 26.The higher passenger volumes are due largely to the October arrival of Frontier Airlines, a new domestic route added by Southwest Airlines, additional international service initiated by Mexico-based Volaris and substitution of larger aircraft in place of regional jets by Alaska, Delta and United.“The good news is more passengers are choosing ONT this year, and we still have room to grow,” said Alan D. Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “At many airports, the holiday crush results in congestion and delays, but we pride ourselves in providing our hallmark, hassle-free experience at all times of year.”This year marks the second holiday travel season since ONT’s transition to local ownership. Wapner pointed out that while airport officials have worked tirelessly to bring more air service to Ontario, they’ve remained mindful of the need to provide a positive passenger experience free of needless delays and inconveniences.Recent improvements and innovations that will benefit airline passengers during the holidays and beyond include expansion of the airport’s ground transportation program, enhancements at security checkpoints and the recent launch of an airport radio station.In the summer, ONT approved the addition of app-based ride sharing services including Lyft and Uber to its ground transportation program, enabling passengers to utilize the popular service to get to and from the airport. In addition, Omnitrans increased its Route 61 bus service to ONT with arrivals every 15 minutes from 4:45 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. seven days a week.Enhancements to ONT’s security checkpoints include a fifth security lane in Terminal 4 and the incorporation of redesigned trays in terminals 2 and 4 which enable transportation security officers to screen carry-on belongings quicker and more efficiently, reducing passenger screening times.Valet parking added in Terminal 4 has become a popular option for travelers driving themselves to ONT. Valet service will be expanded to Terminal 2 in early 2018.Earlier this month, ONT AiRadio was launched to provide directions and information regarding parking options and airline terminal locations, as well as other valuable information for passengers and visitors. The commercial-free broadcasts are heard 24 hours a day at 620AM and via livestream at www.flyontario.com.Wapner noted that airport police will be deployed throughout the ONT complex to keep vehicle traffic flowing, prevent congestion and keep travelers and visitors safe while they are at the airport.About Ontario International Airport (ONT)Ontario International Airport (airport code: ONT) is located in the Inland Empire, approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a medium-hub, full-service airport with nonstop commercial jet service to 19 major airports in the U.S. and Mexico, and connecting service to many domestic and international destinations. There is an average of 66 daily departures offered by 8 air carriers. More information is available at www.flyOntario.com. Follow ONT on Twitter at Twitter.com/ @flyONTairport or by liking ONT on Facebook at Facebook.com/OntarioOIAA.About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA)The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport's four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Mayor Pro-Tem Alan D. Wapner (President), Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President), Ontario Council Member Jim W. Bowman (Secretary), San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (Commissioner) and retired business executive Julia Gouw (Commissioner).