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Year-over-year passenger counts show dramatic increase, but still shy of pre-pandemic numbers

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport (JWA) increased in December 2021 as compared to December 2020 dramatically. In December 2021, the JWA served 847,671 passengers, an increase of 266.9% when compared with the December 2020 passenger traffic count of 231,033. 

The 2021 numbers were still a decrease of 4.9% when compared to December 2019 of 891,492 passengers.

Commercial aircraft operations increased 86.9% and commuter aircraft operations increased 9.5% when compared with December 2020 levels.

Comparing December 2021 to 2019 levels, commercial aircraft operations of 7,170 decreased 5.0% and commuter aircraft operations of 508 increased 23.6%.

Total aircraft operations increased in December 2021 as compared with the same month in 2020. In December 2021, there were 22,410 total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), a 24.1% increase compared to 18,061 total aircraft operations in December 2020 and increased 8.2% compared to December 2019 of 20,718 total aircraft operations.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 65.6% of the total aircraft operations during December 2021, increased 7.0% when compared with December 2020, and increased 15.6% when compared to general aviation activity of 12,731 in December 2019, which accounted for 61.4% of total aircraft operations.

The top three airlines in December 2021 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (315,770), American Airlines (142,915) and United Airlines (120,831).