The Springfield-Branson National Airport set a passenger record in March.
During the month, the airport tallied 97,457 passengers, according to a news release. The previous record of 90,895 was set in March 2019, and the past two years saw a dip amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The nonbusiness traveler is definitely part of pent-up demand,” said Kent Boyd, airport spokesperson, in the release. “Folks haven’t traveled for the past two years. They want to get out of town and go on vacation. They want to visit family.”
Airport officials say March's passenger numbers stand out even more by the fact that airlines are facing pilot shortages.
“We’re hopeful that the airlines are on the road to a full recovery,” Boyd said in the release. “The March passenger numbers could be a sign of even better things to come.”
In 2021, passenger traffic at the Springfield airport marked the fourth-best year on record, according to past reporting. Last year, there were 968,227 total passengers, a 61.7% increase from 598,604 in 2020.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May the all-items inflation index surged 8.6% over the past year, the highest increase since 1981.