ROCKFORD – Passenger traffic increased by more than 35% at Chicago Rockford International Airport during the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period a year ago.
Airport officials said 64,578 people flew from RFD from January 1 to June 30 compared with 47,743 flights during the first half of 2021.
“Planes are coming out very full,” said Chicago Rockford International Airport’s deputy director of operations and planning, Zack Oakley. “We are seeing an average load factor of between 94 and 95% for almost all of our destinations this season.”
Passenger traffic in the RFD increased by nearly 47% during the first half of 2022 compared to the figures of the first half of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic first spread in the US
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The figures from the first half of this year were down 6.4% compared to the first half of 2019 and 3.2% below the figures for the first half of 2018.
Passenger traffic numbers for the first months of 2018, 2019 and 2020 included Apple Vacation flights from RFD to Cancun, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.
Apple suspended these flights during the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and the flights have not returned.
“It’s not that the market isn’t there, it’s more about the availability of aircraft at a reasonable price,” Oakley said. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to get Apple back this season, but hopefully that market will be back again for next winter.”
The airport is currently served by Allegiant Air, which offers flights to five nonstop destinations, including Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; and Orlando, Fort Myers/Punta Gorda and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.
Flights from RFD to Sarasota, Florida, will resume in the fall, Oakley said.
Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Contact him at 815-987-1391, email@example.com or @DeCosterKen.