How Kansas City air traffic numbers have drastically changed this year

Loop Sooimkang(1)
Illustration by Sooim Kang


The total number of passengers KCI saw through July 2020. In 2019, KCI welcomed over 6.8 million passengers during the first half of the year, with over a million of those passengers traveling through KCI in July 2019 alone. The 2020 numbers are more than a fifty-nine percent decrease in passengers from 2019 until now, according to data from the Kansas City Aviation Department.


In April of 2020, with stay-at-home orders in effect to slow the Covid-19 pandemic, just over twenty-one thousand people traveled through KCI. That is just five percent of the number of passengers the airport had at the same time in 2019. Joe McBride, senior communications manager for KCAD, says what airports have faced during the pandemic is unprecedented. “We have never seen something this bad,” he says. “It’s hit us harder than 9/11.”


The percentage change in passengers from July 2019 to July 2020. In July 2019, KCI had over a million passengers, but in July 2020, there were only a little over three hundred thousand, nearly three quarters below where rates were the previous year.

111.3 million

The number of pounds in cargo that have been through KCI as air freight in 2020. Like all other air travel, air freight has been affected by recent events. But, in total, the number of pounds handled for the year is only down six percent from 2019.


The total number of passengers that have flown Southwest Airlines from KCI in 2020. Southwest Airlines is the biggest passenger plane service in the country and it’s the biggest airline at KCI, accounting for forty percent of passengers.


The number of KCI passengers who have traveled using a chartered plane in 2020. Chartered flights have been hit far harder than commercial airlines. The number of charter-plane passengers was still down ninety-seven percent as of July 2020 while normal passenger flights were starting to come back up. In 2019, over twenty-two thousand people came to or from KCI in a chartered plane.

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