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Jill Schramm/MDN The Minot Airport terminal looks at activity Monday. The airport handled more than 11,000 passengers in July.

North Dakota’s air travel numbers are declining, and so is the lack of airline seats, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports reported 89,865 airline passenger passengers in July, a decrease of 3,057 passengers or 3.3 percent from July 2021. The decline follows a national trend of passenger growth last year of around 15% before 2019. – The epidemic number of passengers. This is mainly the result of limited seating capacity and flight departures, which remain below pre-epidemic levels, the commission reported.

In July, 111,039 airline seats were available for purchase in North Dakota. That’s a 16 percent decrease from July 2019, or 20,858 fewer seats, according to U.S. Department of Transportation numbers.

Airlines continue to report problems preventing them from adding more seat capacity to the system. ND Aeronautics Commission Executive Director Kyle Warner said. “Passenger growth can only come from additional flights or if we don’t have enough seats to accommodate the growth. We hope to see more capacity added to North Dakota’s system as the airline industry prioritizes fleet utilization and works to improve labor issues.

Passenger demand is high as flights to and from North Dakota are on average 80% full or full to capacity, the commission said. The commission recommends travelers plan ahead and purchase tickets several weeks in advance of any planned trips to ensure accommodations.

Passenger landings at Minot International Airport totaled 11,303 in July, down from 13,283 passengers in July 2021, a 14.9% decrease. July boards are down 29 percent from 2019.

Year-to-date to 78,360 on-board journeys, up 15.5% from a year ago, although down 17.6% from 2019. North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports are seeing year-over-year increases through 2021. Williston is up 60.7%, Dickinson is up 44.56% and Grand Forks is up 43.78%.

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