Passenger numbers from Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport show a resurgence in travel that has grown each year since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the airline industry in 2020.
While numbers still have a ways to go to match pre-pandemic levels, travel trends at Milwaukee’s airport are continuing to form.
Here are four travel takeaways as we begin to stare down the home stretch of 2023:
Mitchell has impressive hike in fliers in 2023
Data from Milwaukee’s airport through July shows that every month in 2023 has exceeded that same month in 2022 — with the exception of March, which only missed the mark by about 4,000 passengers.
Overall, Mitchell has had 214,172 more flliers than the same period last year — a 6.7% increase.
Southwest, other major airlines are maintaining numbers
Despite passenger numbers continuing to take off, many of the major airlines have only seen marginal changes to their market share this year. Southwest, Delta, United, Frontier and Jet Blue all saw increases in market share of less than 0.5%.
American Airlines was one of only two major airlines to see a decrease in market share — although it was only a drop of 0.62%.
Spirit Airlines has biggest market share decrease
Darling of the budget airline world, Spirit Airlines had a strong performance in 2022 as its number of passengers in Milwaukee doubled from 2021 to 2022 — bringing the airline’s market share to nearly 6%.
In 2023, though, Spirit is losing ground after announcing that it would be suspending direct flights to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tampa Bay. That contributed to a 1.57% decrease from last year in the airline’s market share, the biggest decrease or increase among major airlines.
Moreover, while that number may seem marginal it does represent a decrease of about 27% of the airline’s market share from 2022.
Numbers still far behind pre-pandemic numbers
While Mitchell is having its best year for passengers since the pandemic, it’s still lagging behind 2019 traffic. Through July, the airport had 3,394,570 flliers. In 2019, through July, it 4,056,501 — or about 20% more traffic.