Passenger travel is up at the Piedmont International Airport, but a new report shows cargo numbers haven't followed suit.
Statistics compiled by PTI show passenger travel is up by 12% year over year, and the number of departing seats has increased by more than double that. Cargo is the outlier in the report — it's down by about 30%.
PTI Executive Director Kevin Baker says it’s a side effect of the pandemic: more people were having items delivered back then.
“And so you know, that you had this extreme up movement in cargo numbers back in those days," he says. "I think, to some extent, what we're seeing is a little bit of normalization of that.”
Baker says there are economic factors too.
"There's concerns about China's economy, there's the war that I think is really affecting global economies," he says. "And therefore trade in air cargo follows those trends."
The phenomenon isn’t unique to PTI. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows cargo numbers are down by 12% for all U.S. airlines.
Despite the downward trend, Baker says he is encouraged by airlines adding routes to PTI. Silver Airways began offering direct service to Nashville this summer, and United Airlines will add a non-stop flight to Denver later this month.