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Airline passenger boardings continue to receover in ND

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January airline boardings in North Dakota were up 73 percent from January, 2021.

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission says 73,117 people boarded commercial airlines in January, compared with 42,238 last January.

Aeronautics Commission executive director Kyle Wanner said while demand is significantly stronger this year, compared to last, it’s still below the pre-pandemic levels by about 18 percent.

"Obviously, there are still concerns over COVID-19," Wanner said. "The business travel hasn't come back yet."

Wanner said business meetings are still being held on-line. He also said staffing remains a problem.

"The demand is there in a lot of places," Wanner said. "But the airlines say they just do not have the pilots or the workforce to be able to accommodate additional capacity at this time."

Wanner said the airlines have gone to bigger planes – and that has limited the number of available flights.

"It is a positive," Wanner said. "A lot of people prefer flying on larger aircraft. But that can have an impact on the daily flight schedules as well. It's kind of a 'give-and-take.'"

Wanner said he’s hoping that, as the spring and summer approach, the numbers will continue to grow, because of a pent-up demand for travel.

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