Passenger traffic at the Luis Muñoz Marín International airport was up 5.7% during the third quarter ended Sept. 30, in comparison to the same three-month period last year, Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, parent company of the airport’s operator Aerostar, announced.
The number references the airport’s recovery following the impact of Hurricane María, which hit the island in September 2017. Domestic traffic increased 7.2% YoY while international traffic declined 5.1%, the company noted.
When broken down in numbers, Puerto Rico’s main airport had 2.3 million passengers use the facilities during the recently ended quarter, vs 2.2 million for the same period in 2018.
Domestic traffic accounted for a little more than 2 million passengers, up from the 1.9 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2018. International passenger traffic reached 255,401 during the three-month period ended Sept. 30, 2019, down from the 269,181 on record for the same period last year, according to the operator’s numbers.
During the first nine months of this year, more than 7 million passengers have already passed through the Luis Muñoz Marín Airport, up 11.2% from the 6.3 million reported for the same period in 2018.
In a recent interview with this media outlet, Aerostar CEO Jorge Hernández said the number of passengers for this year is expected to exceed the 9 million mark.
The increased foot traffic will necessitate a number of repairs to the terminals, including the installation of a new $400,000 electric escalator in Terminal B, connecting arriving passengers with the baggage pick-up area.
The escalator has been out of service for several months and will likely take another six months for the new one to become available. In the meantime, passengers will be directed to another escalator nearby in the same corridor, Hernández said.