People are getting vaccinated and travel is increasing but Minnesota's biggest airport is also expected to lose a BIG amount of money again in 2021.
Good news: travel is starting to increase here in Minnesota
There's no question that things are looking up this year across just about every part of Minnesota's economy. As more and more Minnesotans become fully vaccinated and the spread of the coronavirus becomes more limited (and as case counts continue to fall), more of us in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are looking forward to heading out of Dodge for a while.
Which is good news for airports and other travel providers. And while the number of passengers IS increasing at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Minnesota's biggest airport in Bloomington is STILL expected to lose nearly 100 million dollars this year, thanks to the pandemic.
So, why is MSP happy to be losing nearly $100 million?
You know 2020 was a rough year when airport officials at MSP are, in fact, almost giddy over the $94 million dollars the airport is expected in 2021. Now, mind you, they're not actually happy MSP is losing $94 million this year-- that's still a lot of money-- they're just glad MSP isn't going to repeat the $221 million revenue loss it experienced a year ago. Heck, according to an email update from Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) which operates MSP, they're even expecting revenues to be off nearly $48 million in 2022!
Yikes. The good news, though, is that travel IS increasing. The MAC update noted the number of passengers passing through security checkpoints at MSP this March was up nearly 45 percent compared to 2020. It's still off about 50 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels we last saw in 2019, but at least it's moving in the right direction. And it's much better than the 95 percent loss of travelers MSP saw in April of 2020.
More ways to travel here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Now, if you want to check out the friendly skies but DON'T want to make that hour drive up Highway-52 from Rochester to the Twin Cities, you did hear that Minnesota's own Sun Country Airlines is adding two direct flights from the Rochester International Airport, didn't you? (Service is set to start this winter to Phoenix, Arizona and Fort Myers, Florida... get more information HERE.)
Speaking of trips, now that we're starting to travel again, school field trips will hopefully be making a comeback too. If you grew up in Minnesota, keep scrolling to see how many of these field trips YOU remember taking when you were in school!