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Passenger traffic at LMM airport exceeds pre-pandemic levels for May

Passenger traffic at Puerto Rico’s main air hub, the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (LMM), bounced back in May, when it exceeded pre-pandemic results for the same month in 2019.

In its most recent monthly report, Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR), the parent company of Aerostar — which operates the LMM — disclosed that the 896,041 domestic and international travelers that used the facility last month was 15.4% above the 776,383 passengers on record for May 2019.

But when comparing year-over-year, last month’s results were 1,021.4% higher than the 79,906 passengers who used the LMM in May 2020 — when Puerto Rico was in full lockdown mode to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the first five months of the year, passenger traffic at LMM has exceeded 3.4 million, down from the 3.8 million in 2019 and up from the 2.3 million in record for 2020, according to the report.

ASUR operates 16 airports in the Americas, including the San Juan gateway, and properties in Mexico and Colombia. Last month, the Puerto Rico airport was the only one to show positive growth.

“When compared to pre-pandemic levels of May 2019, passenger traffic declined 13.2% in Mexico and 36.3% in Colombia, while traffic in Puerto Rico increased 15.4%,” it said in its report.

When last month’s number is broken down it shows that 862,941 of the passengers who used the LMM were traveling domestic, while 33,100 were on international flights.

That latter number is expected to pick up in coming months, as carriers such as Iberia and Avianca start adding San Juan routes to its itineraries, as the carriers have announced.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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