Pittsburgh airport activity very weak in December 2022

Pittsburgh airport activity very weak in December 2022

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) had a very weak month in December 2022, dipping well below the pre-pandemic December 2019 levels of activity.  Throughout the second half of 2022, the monthly comparisons to pre-COVID passenger counts had made marginal improvements. But in December, the passenger count fell 17.9 percent below December 2019, the worst reading since June.  International passengers remained 31.6 percent below the pre-COVID December level.

Meanwhile, over the same comparison period, aircraft operations remained 20.6 percent behind the pre-pandemic level.  In short, December was a very disappointing month at PIT. No doubt the massive flight disruptions across the nation with massive flight cancellations played a role in the poor numbers in December 2022.

Overall, for the year, PIT had 17 percent fewer total passengers in 2022 than in 2019.  Annual aircraft operations in 2022 fell 18 percent below the three-year earlier reading.

PIT clearly has far to go and all the hyperbole emanating from the Airport Authority’s public relations shop will not cover up the fact that PIT lags the national recovery and remains very far behind airports in faster growing metro areas.

The only bragging rights are that subsidized British Airways will increase flights in the summer — for an additional $500,000 in public subsidies, that is — and a massively expensive taxpayer-supported new terminal is under construction. These are not enough to offset the obvious problem: PIT is failing to deliver a performance in line with its hype.  Nor is it likely to unless the region’s economy sees a substantial increase in job growth from the stagnating pace of recent years.