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Airline travel rebounds in North Dakota

North Dakota’s airline travel made a healthy recovery after a 2020 decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

The number of airline passengers on commercial flights increased 55% from 2020 to 2021. The number of passengers increased by 314,716 passengers in 2021 for a total of 886,809 for the year.

Kyle Wanner, executive director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, said in a news release he is optimistic with the recent airline passenger trends.

“The past year was one of significant challenges for the aviation industry as it worked to accommodate a large recovery in passenger demand while pro-actively mitigating risks associated with the pandemic and workforce shortages,” Wanner said. “Amongst these challenges, North Dakota’s airline passenger demand is within reach of a full recovery to 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. The success of the ongoing recovery showcases the resiliency of our state as well as the importance that aviation transportation provides to all of our communities.”

The opportunities that an increase in airline passengers creates for North Dakota include added flights, seat capacity and demand for aviation workers, according to the report.

The latest numbers from the North Dakota Tourism Division shows the number of tourists who visited the state by plane increased in the third quarter of 2021 to 29,605 from 18,832 during the same time period in 2020. More than 1.6 million people visited the state’s major attractions during the third quarter of 2021, up from nearly 671,000 in the third quarter of 2020.

The state’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park experienced a 43% increase in year-over-year total visits in 2021, according to preliminary numbers for December 2021 from the National Park Service. The national park had 802,663 visitors in 2021 compared with 557,881 visitors in 2020.

This article was originally posted on Airline travel rebounds in North Dakota

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