City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Recovery & new records round-out 2021 at AUS
AUSTIN, Texas – This past year, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) reached milestones across the airport and experienced a significant rebound of daily passenger volumes as vaccination rates, passenger confidence and demand for air travel increased.
AUS passenger volume growth for December 2021 was up 209.3% compared to December 2020 with 1,595,821 passengers flying during the month, and was the busiest December on record at AUS. Overall for the year, 13,570,711 passengers flew through Austin, up 109.7% from 2020, making it the airport’s fourth busiest year ever.
In 2021, AUS welcomed new airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and JSX, and 26 new nonstop international and domestic destinations, as well as the return of international carriers, Aeromexico, Air Canada and British Airways. Allegiant Air opened a new home base in Austin, investing $75 million into the operation that created at least 89 high-wage jobs and now houses three Airbus A320 aircraft.
The year also saw significant recovery and growth for AUS concessions, with many concessions reopening and a new concession, Zocalo Café, opening to passengers for the first time. In 2021, passengers purchased 13,399 t-shirts from Tyler’s, 5,617 Keep Austin Weird shirts, 3,569 El Arroyo souvenirs, and celebrated Austin FC’s inaugural season by buying 977 team shirts and 627 hats.
Being the home airport for the capital of Texas, all things barbecue were popular among AUS passengers. Travelers looking to bring a taste of Texas with them snatched up 8,352 sauces and salsas from Salt Lick BBQ and 4,367 sauces and rubs from Franklin’s BBQ. They also dined on 75,390 pounds – 37.7 tons – of brisket from the airport’s very own Salt Lick BBQ.
Austin travelers' love for tacos continued throughout the year, with 1,458,000 tacos enjoyed by passengers at Taco Deli, Jo’s Coffee, Earl Campbell’s Taco Truck and more.
2021 was also an exciting year for the AUS Arts and Music Program, which supported 61 different artists through the permanent and changing art exhibits program and 248 live musical performances. Permanent art installations unveiled at AUS in 2021 include “MEANDERWING”, by Marc Fornes and “Interimaginary Departures” by Janet Zweig, which will both be enjoyed by travelers for years to come.
Following significant COVID-19 impacts to air travel, AUS re-strategized its original expansion program to meet the needs of post-pandemic air travel, and in 2021 unveiled its Airport Expansion and Development Program (AEDP) to increase airport capacity for passengers and flights. The Program will deliver near-term improvements to the Barbara Jordan Terminal and select 2040 Master Plan projects, like a new midfield concourse.
One of the first AEDP projects to be completed was the opening of a new security checkpoint, Checkpoint 2 East, giving the airport additional security screening capability during peak travel. AUS also opened its new Consolidated Maintenance Facility in 2021, and announced plans for a new 90,000 square-foot air cargo facility to meet the increased needs of AUS cargo operations.
Austin-Bergstrom also earned a Level 3+ Carbon Accreditation by Airports Council International – North America’s Airport Carbon Accreditation Program, making AUS only one of four North American airports to achieve carbon neutrality and the first medium sized airport in North America to achieve this distinction.
Passenger Activity: Total passenger traffic for December 2021 was 1,595,821, up 209.3% compared to December 2020. December 2021 enplanements totaled 808,907, up 207.7%. Southwest Airlines passengers totaled 562,810, up 201.8%; American Airlines passengers totaled 464,988, up 372%; United Airlines passengers totaled 177,598, up 118.8%; Delta Air Lines passengers totaled 175,425, up 188%; Alaska Airlines passengers totaled 61,167, up 335.8%; Spirit Airlines passengers totaled 45,008, up 29.3%; JetBlue Airways passengers totaled 42,372, up 89.4%; Allegiant Air passengers totaled 32,797, up 436.1%; Frontier Airlines passengers totaled 16,123, down 2.8%; British Airways passengers totaled 5,714; Aeromexico passengers totaled 5,149; Hawaiian Airlines passengers totaled 5,035; and Air Canada passengers totaled 1,635.
December 2021 air cargo totaled 25,786,984 lbs., up 0.84% compared to December 2020. International air cargo totaled 505,023 lbs., up 1,134.3%. Federal Express carried 7,374,020 lbs., down 2%; Air Transport International carried 7,062,272 lbs., up 63.2%; United Parcel Service carried 4,567,293 lbs., up 23.4%; and Atlas Air INC carried 1,559,002 lbs.
Air Services transferred 769,225 lbs. of mail, up 30.8%; and 2,103,322 lbs. of belly freight, up 345.6%.
Aircraft Operations: General Aviation operations totaled 4,045, up 34.7%. Combined operations (including commercial and military) totaled 21,004, up 94.9%.
January - December 2021
Passenger Activity: Total passenger traffic for January – December 2021 was 13,570,771, up 109.7%, compared to January – December 2020. January – December 2021 enplanements totaled 6,802,167, up 110.4%. Southwest Airlines passengers totaled 4,665,611, up 114.6%; American Airlines passengers totaled 3,265,976, up 144.4%; Delta Air Lines passengers totaled 1,819,481, up 125.4%; United Airlines passengers totaled 1,605,309, up 85.6%; Alaska Airlines passengers totaled 676,648, up 163.1%; Spirit Airlines passengers totaled 553,869, up 27.1%; JetBlue Airways passengers totaled 430,984, up 102.5%; Allegiant Air passengers totaled 231,482, up 184.6%; Frontier Airlines passengers totaled 211,474, down 3.9%; Hawaiian Airlines passengers totaled 37,259; Aeromexico passengers totaled 29,627, up 187.8%; Sun Country Airlines passengers totaled 18,165, up 52.2%; British Airways passengers totaled 14,348, down 50.9%; Air Canada passengers totaled 7,564, down 26.7%; Swift Air passengers totaled 1,955, up 62.2%; Global Crossing Airlines, Inc. passengers totaled 933; and TUI Airways passengers totaled 86.
January – December 2021 air cargo totaled 239,259,967 lbs., up 8.7% compared to January – December 2020. International air cargo totaled 4,666,554 lbs., down 2.9%. Federal Express carried 91,380,010 lbs., up 1.2%; United Parcel Service carried 36,032,185 lbs., up 11%; Air Transport International carried 26,105,722 lbs.; Southern Air carried 25,125,384 lbs.; and Amerijet International Airlines carried 16,879,808 lbs.
Air Services transferred 8,347,396 lbs. of mail, up 11.7%; and 13,904,175 lbs. of belly freight, up 42.5%.
Aircraft Operations: General Aviation operations totaled 46,885 for January – December 2021, up 39.1%. Combined operations (including commercial and military) totaled 203,389, up 54.9%.