Orlando airport saw more than 57% reduction in passengers in 2020, report says

Number of travelers cut virtually in half from record high of 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando International Airport was hit hard by the pandemic in 2020 and its leaders are predicting another challenging year ahead.

OIA saw about 21.6 million passengers in 2020, according to a report from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which is a 57.29% drop from 2019, when the airport saw a record 50.6 million passengers.

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Breaking the numbers down further, GOAA said that it saw 53.98% fewer domestic travelers, 19,999,356 total, and 77.4% fewer international travelers, 1,618,447, for the year.

The airport has also seen a reduction in the number of destinations passengers can fly to from OIA and the number of airlines flying into the airport, as well.

Destinations and AirlinesPre-COVID-19Currently% Change
U.S. Destinations9188-3%
International Destinations5419-65%
Airlines Serving OIA3326-27%

“The year-end numbers accurately reflect the impact of the COVID-19 virus on Orlando International Airport and the aviation industry in general,” GOAA CEO Phil Brown said in the report.

Brown predicted that travel would not return to pre-pandemic levels at OIA until 2025.

This comes at the same time Florida is seeing its lowest tourism numbers since 2010, reporting approximately 86.714 million visitors to the state during 2020, according to the state tourism marketing agency Visit Florida.

At the same time, Orange County’s tourism tax collections were down 59% in December when compared to the same time last year. However, the county comptroller, Phil Diamond, had said there were signs of optimism, noting that the Tourism Development Tax collections had gone up for eight straight months since bottoming out in April 2020.

“This is a hopeful sign for the local tourism industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic,” Diamond said.


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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.