PHOENIX — For the first time in 2022, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport saw its monthly total number of passengers drop below the count from the same month in 2021.
In June, Sky Harbor’s total passenger count was 3,617,586, which was more than 21,000 fewer than the total number of passengers that either took off or landed at Sky Harbor in June 2021, according to a July 27 report from the Phoenix Aviation Department.
For most of 2022, Sky Harbor has been flirting with getting back to 2019 numbers, but as the commercial airline industry has struggled to keep up with demand this summer, Sky Harbor’s passenger numbers not only dropped 5.5% from June 2019, but also 0.6% from the same month last year.
Despite high ticket prices, consumer demand for flying has been up this summer, but airlines have not been able to keep up, mostly due to labor shortages. Many airlines let go or encouraged employees to retire early during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when commercial travel all but shut down.