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Boise Airport traffic perks up — slightly; Another airline cuts destination

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The number of passengers using the Boise Airport remains much lower than before the pandemic, but travel has started to increase.

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BoiseDev last told you about the data trends for the main passenger airport in southern Idaho this spring. The number of folks who got on or off a flight at the Boise Airport dropped to just a little more than 18,000 in the month of April – a stunning drop of 94% from the same month in 2019.

We now have two months of additional data, and while passenger counts started to increase, they remain far below historical comparisons.

Boise Airport total passengers, Jan, 2019 – June, 2020. BoiseDev graphic

In May, 50,480 folks either got on or off a flight at the airport. While that’s more than double the number for April, it is far below the 347,643 passengers in May of 2019. The numbers show an 85% decrease year over year.

In June, the passenger count again doubled from the prior month – up to 106,034. But again, that’s well below the level in 2019, when 372,540 passengers used BOI. From June ’19 to June ’20, traffic dropped 71.5%.

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The number of planes landing at the airport was also significantly lower in June, with just 1,152 planes touching down, a drop of 50% from the prior year.

Changes at BOI

Several adjustments went into effect at the airport this year. A long-planned multi-year revamp was scaled back, and a new flight to a long-sought eastern time zone destination was called off.

Other flight options will go away as well. Southwest Airlines stopped flying to Spokane direct from Boise, and the flight will not return for now according to Cranky Flier. The move leaves just Alaska Airlines flying direct between the two cities.

Some projects are moving forward, including a new gate at the airport to service larger Alaska planes.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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