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Quad Cities International Airport reaches new recovery milestone

June 24, 2021

The Quad Cities International Airport reached a pandemic-era high with 42,881 travelers during the month of May. This marks the highest number of travelers through the airport since February 2020. The year began with passenger numbers hovering around 23,000, showing a clear uptick in demand as COVID-19 cases decrease and restrictions loosen across the U.S.

“We’ve been saying for months that we believe there is pent-up travel demand and we’re seeing that come to fruition in yet another strong month of recovery,” said Benjamin Leischner, A.A.E, executive director. “With restored service from the Quad Cities to Minneapolis through Delta, we expect this growth trend to continue and we are feeling energized by the return of passengers to our terminal.”

Throughout the pandemic, Delta Air Lines blocked middle seats on airplanes, or reduced capacity, to promote social distancing. On May 1, Delta ended its blocked middle seat policy. The QC Airport experienced a noticeable difference in Delta performance as a result, with a 90% load factor. From April to May, Delta gained nearly 3,000 passengers. This is prior to the restoration of service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, which began June 6.

“Delta is nearly filling all of its planes out of MLI and experienced the largest month over month increase in passengers compared to the other airlines,” said Leischner. “With June marking the return of twice daily service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, we expect Delta will have another strong month. Delta’s presence at the QC Airport provides invaluable connections to global destinations and it’s encouraging to see people taking advantage of their network.”

Delta has not yet provided information on when service to Detroit might be restored. In general, the airline seems to be focusing its recovery strategy elsewhere. However, the strong interest in Delta service at the QC Airport supports efforts to bid for restored or new service.

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