Sea-Tac sees lowest passenger numbers in more than 50 years

SEATTLE -- Washington's busiest airport had its slowest month for passengers in more than 50 years, new data shows.

The Port of Seattle released the latest passenger numbers for Sea-Tac Airport Friday.

About 260,000 passengers traveled through the airport in April, a 93.6 percent decrease from the same month in 2019. The last time numbers were that low was 1967, the port said.

The total number of takeoffs and landings decreased more than 65 percent. Air cargo and mail decreased only about 10 percent, officials said.

Officials said it was important to publish the latest travel numbers to see just how big of an impact COVID-19 was having on one of the region's largest job engines.

"Publishing key data on a weekly dashboard gives local governments and industries valuable, rea-time activity indicators to help track the recovery," officials said in a news release.

Things are looking up for May, however. According to the port, passenger volume has increased with as many as 8,000 passengers departing on the busiest days. In contrast, the airport averaged almost 53,000 departing screened passengers in 2019.

Airport officials said they look forward to the gradually easing travel restrictions as the country recovers from COVID-19.

For a full list of steps the airport is taking to protect people from COVID-19 and a detailed look at travel numbers, click here.