PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — With the busy spring break season coming to an end, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport officials said it’s just the beginning.
ECP is impressed with the numbers they have seen so far, and officials think the busy season started early. March numbers were the highest seen since the pandemic, even beyond that.
“We had our third-highest month in the history of the airport,” said ECP Executive Director Parker McClellan.
Many are packing their bags and buying their plane tickets. They are ready to start air travel once again.
“It has definitely picked up once again since the pandemic,” said resident John Boncosky. “My wife and I have gone to Mexico three times, and it was very quiet but now things are getting back to more normal.”
Boncosky is a part-time Panama City Beach resident, and more recently he has seen busier airports.
“A lot of activity in the month of March,” said McClellan. “As everybody saw on the beach and in town, there were a lot of people in our community and a lot of people flew in and we were really glad to see that.”
McClellan said this March he saw 12% higher travel numbers than March 2019.
“We think with what we have seen so far, our season would have begun really early this year at the beginning of March, and we anticipate it is going to go into October and November,” he said.
Airlines have been flying larger jets into ECP, which McClellan said brings in even more passengers to the world’s most beautiful beaches. Although April’s numbers have decreased slightly, he said he is not worried. Numbers will pick back up again for the summer.