Despite robust upswing, San Jose airport remains well below pre-COVID heights
SAN JOSE, Calif. — As it struggles to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, San Jose International Airport handled at least 1 million passengers for the fourth month in a row.
In July, the South Bay aviation hub served nearly 1.15 million passengers, which was 1.7% more than the number of passenger trips at the airport in the same month in 2022.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign of progress is that the number of passengers transiting through San Jose Airport year to date has surpassed activity during the same seven months in 2022.
According to the airport, passenger trips are up about 13% in the first seven months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
“We are very pleased to see continued traffic growth this summer,” said Keonnis Taylor, a San Jose International Airport spokesperson.
Nonetheless, while current travel trends are encouraging, San Jose Airport is still far below the all-time highs it reached prior to the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.
San Jose served 15.65 million passengers in 2019, or an average of 1.3 million passengers per month.
SJC served an estimated 12.15 million passengers in the fiscal year that ended in July, which equates to 1.01 million passengers per month.
That means that over the last year, San Jose Airport passenger trips are 22.3% lower than the total for calendar year 2019, which was the final full year before the business lockdowns began.
Airports in the Bay Area have recovered slowly from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus.
Oakland International and San Francisco International, like San Jose Airport, are still operating at significantly lower levels than before COVID. However, passenger trips at both San Francisco and Oakland airports have increased steadily in 2023.
The tech industry is still taking its time returning to pre-coronavirus levels of activity. All three Bay Area airports rely heavily on business travel for passengers.
Despite the challenges, San Jose Airport is on the rise, as evidenced by the travel center’s passenger activity so far in 2023.
Furthermore, airport officials note that airlines are increasing their flights to San Jose. Notably, Spirit Airlines began nonstop flights from San Jose this year, while ZipAir began nonstop flights to Tokyo.
“Bay Area travelers continue to appreciate the simple, convenient airport experience that SJC provides,” Taylor stated.