Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) has set its third monthly passenger record for the year and is now celebrating its busiest summer in history. Total Passenger Counts for August reached 117,952, or a 20.4% increase over the previous record set in August 2019 when 97,941 total passengers chose to fly Palm Springs. August 2021 passenger numbers were up 223% compared to August 2020.
At the start of the year, PSP forecasted passenger numbers would average approximately 50% of 2019 levels throughout 2021 and predicted they would not return to pre-pandemic numbers until early 2023. However, the Total Passenger Count for summer 2021 (June – August) came in at 191,547, making it the busiest summer on record for Palm Springs International Airport. Summer 2019, previously recorded as PSP’s busiest summer, had a Total Passenger Count of 153,361, but this summer beat 2019 with a nearly 25% increase in passengers. Year-to-date passenger numbers are up 28% compared to 2020, however they still lag 2019 year-to-date by approximately 34%.
“This summer has provided an unexpected boost to the airport,” said Harry Barrett, Assistant Executive Director of Aviation. “These record passenger numbers have come along with more flights and nonstop routes which has helped us sustain and will ultimately help us recover from the pandemic more quickly than we had anticipated.”
The summer passenger boost was made possible, in part, by a 20% increase in available flights from PSP. The airport recorded 2,493 scheduled departures this summer and a 41% increase in available seats compared to 2019. June through August 2019 offered 180,886 departing seats, and the same period in 2021 had 255,739 seats available to Coachella Valley residents.