Two Dramatically Different Stories at ABE
January 20, 2021
Pandemic Reduces Passenger Traffic, while Cargo Takes Off!
(Hanover Township, PA) – Not since 1972 (368,689) has Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) experienced passenger traffic numbers dipping below 400,000 annual travelers.
“We anticipated 2020 to be a year of substantial growth at ABE, only to face the most challenging year in Airport and aviation history,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director, Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA).
390,764 passengers traveled through your neighborhood airport in 2020 – a 57.15 percent decrease from 2019 – the biggest passenger traffic decline in Airport history.
Year Passengers Percentage decrease Year Passengers
2020 390,764 57.15% 2019 911,970
In the midst of a pandemic, ABE celebrated a series of positive moments with travelers last year, including the arrival of a two-aircraft Allegiant Crew Base – bringing 60-plus new jobs to the region and new air service to Sarasota and Chicago-Midway (MDW).
Plus, United Airlines expanded their travel footprint with the takeoff of daily non-stop service to Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD).
“Adding three new routes during a time of great uncertainty surrounding commercial air service reflects the strong commitment by our airline partners to ensure options for the Lehigh Valley and surrounding communities,” said Stoudt.
Travelers during Thanksgiving week declined approximately 53 percent, and as expected Christmas followed that anticipated trend. 27,631 passengers chose ABE for holiday travel in December – a 61.7% decrease from the same month the previous year.
Month Passengers Percentage decrease Month Passengers
Dec. ’20 27,631 61.7% Dec. ’19 72,150
By the numbers in December, United reported a total passenger decrease of 67.4, Delta dropped 65.6%, American declined 63.6%, and Allegiant was down 56.1%.
“Throughout this worldwide health emergency, the strength and resilience of airport staff has been inspiring. Since our first discussion of COVID-19 in early January 2020, we have worked hard to develop a flight plan that creates a safe and healthy travel environment our passengers can trust, ” said Stoudt.
Passengers are encouraged to learn more about COVID-19 prevention efforts at ABE, plus TSA and airline travel requirements by visiting: www.flyabe.com
Meanwhile, ABE served as a critical gateway for necessary supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the amount of air cargo processed reached 210,271,578 pounds – a significant increase of 14.9% from 2019 and the highest air cargo volume at ABE on record.
Year Cargo (lbs) Percentage increase Year Cargo (lbs)
2020 210,271,578 14.89% 2019 183,012,177