Passenger traffic at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport dipped roughly 4.3% from July to August, the first month-to-month drop in traffic since the fall of 2020.
The airport had been seeing a steady rise in traffic each month as passengers returned to flying with wider distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The more than 472,000 passengers traveling through the airport in July totaled 75% of Mitchell’s 2019 traffic volume, up from 59% in April and even lower totals earlier in the year.
Mitchell saw 452,134 passengers in August, roughly 73.4% of the total from 2019. While it is possible the emergence and spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant hurt traffic figures, it also is not uncommon for traffic to dip from July to August. From 2015 to 2019, the airport averaged a 3.1% decrease between the two months.
While still down sharply from pre-pandemic levels, traffic in August was more than double the roughly 194,000 passengers that came through Mitchell in August of 2020.
American Airlines had the best month in terms of market share gains in August, adding 1.6 percentage points to reach 17.2% share. Delta also added 0.86 points to reach 24.27%. United was up 0.13 point to 9.05%.
Southwest Airlines, which handles the most passengers at Mitchell, saw its market share drop 1.35 point to 38.84% for the month.
Mitchell Airport has seen a number of new airlines start or plan to start service this year. Allegiant Air started in August with a total of 443 passengers. Sun Country, which started earlier this year, handled 610 passengers, up from 261 in July.
Spirit Airlines, however, saw its share drop 1.72 points to 3.62%. The airline, among the newcomers to the airport, handled 16,369 passengers in August, down from 25,221 in July.