PENDLETON — Air travel at Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, Pendleton, was up in the first half of this year compared to last.
Departing and arriving passengers were higher every month in 2022 than in 2021 Enplanements were up 31.6% and deplanements were up 32.5% for the six-month period, according to data from the city.
There were no delayed or canceled flights during the Fourth of July weekend, according to Boutique Air’s records, despite widespread chaos in the national air transport system.
Steve Chrisman, Pendleton economic development director and interim airport manager, Erica Stewart, administrative specialist, reported Boutique in 2021 had 4,108 boardings and 3,994 disembarkations. The first six months of last year saw 1,725 passengers deplane and 1,803 board. In the first half of this year, 2,372 passengers departed and 2,285 arrived.
Former airport manager John Honneman provided figures for previous years of Boutique’s service. The effect of the pandemic on flights was dramatic, crashing from 561 boardings in January 2020 to 58 in April.
Passenger numbers have not yet recovered to their pre-pandemic peak of 642 enplanements in October 2019. That year, 6,763 passengers boarded. Enplanements fell to 3,565 in 2020, then rose to 4,108 in 2021. If the trend for the first half of this year continues, 2022 could register more than 5,400 boardings.
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