skip to navigation

Real time TSA Checkpoint wait times! Click Here 

Two Dramatically Different Stories at ABE Page Hero Image

Two Dramatically Different Stories at ABE

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:

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