The journey back to the way life was before the pandemic continues.
At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), that means more travelers.
There were more than 31.2 million pasengers in 2022, according to a passenger and operations report released this week, 24% more than the approximate 25.2 million travelers in 2021.
“Our recovery over the last year included several bright spots, highlighted by a continued expansion of domestic routes and a significant rebound in international service,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which operates MSP, in a news release.
There’s still room to grow, though.
While traffic has roughly doubled since 2020 — the heart of the pandemic, when there were 14.9 million passengers — it’s still not at pre-pandemic levels: In 2019, there were 39.6 million passengers.
Still, it might have seemed like “old times” if you were trying to fly in our out of MSP at especially popular travel windows for locals — including MEA weekend and spring break.
“There were periods in 2022 where it felt like before the pandemic,” says Jeff Lea, airport spokesman.
While business travel continues to recover, officials say that the 2023 projections look to continue the overall pattern of recovery.
“As we look to further close the gap to pre-pandemic passenger levels,” Ryks said in a statement, “we’re encouraged airlines have already announced new destinations and flight frequencies for 2023 and that they continue to utilize larger aircraft with more seat capacity to meet increased demand out of MSP.”