San Jose International Airport typically sees millions of passengers passing through each year. Specifically, 2018 saw 14.3 million flyers. In 2019, 15.7 million passengers used the airport. But with pandemic-related shutdowns, the airport is seeing a jaw-dropping decrease in activity.
In April of 2019, 1.3 million people passed through the airport. In April of 2020? 37,600 people. That decrease measures out to a whopping 97.1%. Signs of a downturn began as early as March 2020 with 508,100 flyers. March and April’s drop in numbers has affected the airport’s first quarter of business. At 2.81 million travelers in the first four months of 2020, this year’s commerce is already down 39.4%.
San Jose International Airport: Where Is Everyone?
It should be noted that the coronavirus has deeply impacted nearly all air travel. At the virus’ peak, nations began shutting down their borders. Countries refused flights to non-citizens. Thus, the total number of people traveling at all came to a grinding halt.
Forbes projects that Covid-19 could cost airlines up to $113 billion. Other sources cite even higher numbers.
Because of Shelter in Place orders, even domestic travel has slowed considerably. The risk of catching the virus climbs with public exposure. People are scared to leave their homes. Nonessential businesses have closed their doors.
As states begin to reopen, we may see numbers begin to climb again. Airfare is currently much lower than usual. Still, even that is subject to change and could impact flight statistics. The rules about social distancing, for instance, mean flights cannot sell to their full capacity. Eventually, as people return to the skies, we may see ticket prices increase due to this.
Given so many unknowns, it’s hard to predict when SJ International will hit its stride again. We still have a long way to go in protecting ourselves against the coronavirus. Some people are speculating that air travel may never return to exactly what it was before.