Battered by the whiplash of COVID-19, travel restrictions, virus variants, and flyer hesitation, the airports have experienced quite a roller coaster since March 2020. However, the past 6 months have been rosy for Los Angeles International Airport, as it has seen YoY growth with a particular boost in September. In fact, all of the top 5 busiest airports in the US saw increased travel in Sept 2022 compared to the prior year.
U.S. travel to foreign markets peaked after a strong summer and has been moving lower. However, as we've passed peak summer visitation season, we anticipate some normalization in foreign travel by U.S. residents.
Over the course of 2022, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led in terms of visits in the winter and spring, before being overtaken by LAX in the summer months, and then regaining its crown in the fall.
With China opening up, we anticipate that West Coast airports may benefit from that loosened restriction and increased Chinese tourism (more on that below). Compared to Jan. 2021, 4 major West Coast airports (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle) have continued to see rebounds, most frequently in the summer months as well as peaks at Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday.