Airport officials preparing for passenger growth this summer
Construction is under way at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport to ensure travelers can more quickly move through the facility.
“The West Concourse is currently under construction to include the expansion of the TSA checkpoint area for a faster and easier flow of passenger processing,” said LSherie Dean, director of communications, marketing and public relations for the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority.
“This project is scheduled to be fully completed by early June.”
Also being constructed are new ticket counter check-in kiosks and gate and baggage claims area for Southwest Airlines.
The improvements to the airport will greatly benefit travelers as summer travel is expected to increase significantly because of pent-up demand and a 50 percent increase in seat capacity.
“With the return of Southwest Airlines, the restart of seasonal flights from Frontier, Delta moving most of their flights back to mainline B717 aircraft and recent new American Airlines routes to Miami and Washington D.C., we are expecting increase of approximately 20 percent for all of 2021, much of which will flow during the peak summer period at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN),” she said.
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority has seen a steady increase in air travel at JAN. As at all airports around the U.S. and globally, the effects of COVID-19 significantly impacted demand and altered national and regional air service, including at JAN.
Flight airline frequency had dipped to as low as four to six daily flights during March, April and May 2020 at JAN, compared to 24-25 daily flights before COVID. This summer, JAN will host up to 30 daily flights,
The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International has been forecast by Airports: USA® to be in the Top 10 of U.S. airports in the percentage of projected passenger growth for 2021, coming in at No. 8.
Airports: USA® monitors 162 airports in enplanements and traffic trends, and JAN shines brightly on its radar. Predictions are for a 20.3 percent growth level above the record 2019 passenger performance that JAN experienced, when more than 1,051,000 travelers were served (enplaned and deplaned passengers).
In April, JAN was between 70 and 76 percent of pre-pandemic flight frequency, depending on the day of the week. This summer, flights are expected to be well above the 2019 record number of frequencies.
“This is a big win for the Jackson Metro Area and beyond,” said Paul Brown, CEO of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. “I am proud of our team as they continue working to manage our facilities and passenger services successfully during these challenging times in the industry.”
• American Airlines (AA) celebrated on May 1, 2021 the 40th anniversary of the AAdvantage Program, one of the world’s largest frequent traveler programs. Passengers on JAN Flight 4051 received an additional 400 AAdvantage miles in celebration.
• This spring, AA restarted the daily JAN flight to Washington National Airport (DCA). An early morning departure and evening return allow for a same-day trip for business travelers. New, seasonal nonstop service to Miami (MIA) will begin on June 5, operating on Saturdays during the peak summer period to that key hub.
• Delta Air Lines (DL) plans to operate mainline B717 aircraft to Atlanta, with 110 seats aboard, and has nearly returned to their pre-pandemic frequency of seven daily flights connecting to five continents via the hub. Seat capacity has been increased, allowing for more travel opportunities.
• Frontier Airlines (F9) will restart seasonal on May 28 with nonstop flights to Orlando, Florida (MCO) two times a week on Airbus 320 aircraft. Frontier last served JAN in 2019.
• Southwest Airlines (WN) will restart JAN service on June 6, with seven daily B737 flights during the week and six flights a day on Saturdays and Sundays. New weekend nonstop route to Orlando has been included, in addition to Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Houston (HOU) and Atlanta (ATL) flights, allowing connections to 100 Southwest destinations.
• This summer, United Airlines (UA) will add a fourth nonstop flight to its major hub airport at Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which connects to four continents.
Although COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to relax, there is still a federal mandate as of late May for passengers, customers and airport employees to wear face coverings at all times while at the airport and onboard flights.
Travelers are encouraged to arrive at the airport two hours in advance of their flight departure times. Passengers should also check their flight status for updates at www.iFlyJackson.com.