ABQ Sunport Covid Recover Update
Today, Mayor Keller and Director of Aviation Nyika Allen discussed the state of operations at the Albuquerque International Sunport and results of COVID-19 recovery efforts, including details on the sharpest increase in passenger traffic since the start of the pandemic. The increased demand is also bringing back direct flights, with three routes announced in the coming months.
Increased traffic can be attributed to COVID case counts dropping, more people getting vaccinated and the State’s mandatory quarantine being rescinded. Passenger data from the past 30-days shows traffic has rebounded to more than half of pre-pandemic levels and by over 1000% from this same time last year. While acknowledging there’s still a long road ahead before returning to pre-pandemic numbers, city leaders are pleased to see significant increases in passenger traffic and the additional benefits that come with it.
“Like the rest of our city, the Sunport is making a comeback with a sharp increase in passenger traffic,” said Mayor Keller. “The Sunport is a cornerstone of our city’s economy, but its rebound also shows how far we’ve come from the depths of the pandemic. For more than a year, people have had to put off trips for work or to see loved ones. That’s quickly changing as more and more Americans receive the vaccine.”
“The past year has presented monumental challenges for the Sunport and our partners,” said Nyika Allen, Director of Aviation for the City of Albuquerque. “We adjusted our operations and carried out plans to weather the storm, avoid layoffs, keep our community safe and continue providing air service as an essential function throughout the pandemic. We’ve been very encouraged by recent activity and have enjoyed welcoming travelers back, while still adhering to COVID-safe protocols.”
Currently, the Sunport offers 20 direct flight options to destinations throughout the country, down from 25 in 2019. As a result of the increased demand, some airlines are bringing back flights that had been postponed due to the pandemic. Allegiant Air will resume direct flights from Albuquerque to Austin and Las Vegas starting in May and American Airlines will return direct service to Los Angeles in June. The Sunport is working diligently to continue these positive trends and re-gain additional postponed routes.
The Aviation Department will continue sharing metrics with the public over the coming months on the Sunport and the status of air travel.
Owned and operated by the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation Department, the Albuquerque International Sunport is New Mexico’s largest commercial airport, welcoming over 5 million passengers each year. Served by 8 major carriers, the Sunport offers non-stop service between ABQ and more than 20 destinations, all with worldwide connectivity. The Albuquerque International Sunport is the Gateway of New Mexico.