Air travel rebounding at NC’s largest airports

Air travel rebounding at NC's largest airports

GREENSBORO, NC — Airports across North Carolina are seeing an increase in passengers as summer travel kicks up.


What You Need To Know

  • NC’s three largest airports have seen a boost in travelers leading into the summer
  • In May 2020, passengers were down 92% at PTI airport compared with May 2019.
  • Airlines carried 674 million passengers in 2021, an 82% increase from 2020, according to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Raleigh-Durham International, Charlotte-Douglas International and Piedmont-Triad International airports are seeing a boost in passengers this summer compared with 2021. Charlotte-Douglas saw a 49% increase in April 2022, PTI reported a 45% increase in travelers in May 2022 , and RDU saw a 24% increase in June 2022.

Amy Johnson works at the CNBC Gift Shop at PTI in Greensboro. She’s noticed an undeniable difference in foot traffic this year compared with 2020.

“Mondays is when the business people travel and Fridays is when the people go on vacation, so we love to see it all the time,” she said.

Johnson enjoys greeting travelers before they catch their flights. When the pandemic started, she wanted to keep working even though her customers were dwindling while pandemic restrictions strengthened.

Last summer, Johnson noticed a pickup in foot traffic through her store as more people started to return to travel. She says this summer has been even busier.

“Just this last spring and summer, it’s been picking up a lot. We’ve had a lot of traffic come through,” she said.

Johnson’s been restocking shelves more frequently, which shows that customers are returning to the airport. She says she’s preparing for bigger crowds as the holiday season is on the horizon.

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