After Years of Massive Growth, PDX Leveled Off Last Year

After almost a decade of growth, Portland International Airport saw a decrease in travel growth in 2019. Travel at PDX increased more than 50 percent from 2010 through 2019—nearly double the national rate— according to data from the Port of Portland. 

The increase in travel reflected economic growth in the years after the Great Recession in 2008, Portland’s growing popularity as a tourist destination and a rise in the number of corporate outposts across the city.    

PDX travel decreases: National passenger traffic increased by 4.9 percent in 2019, according to the U.S Department of Transpiration. However, this was not the case in Portland, where 2019 passenger traffic remained virtually unchanged from 2018.  

Port of Portland spokeswoman Kama Simonds told The Oregonian it was a game of catch-up: “We were growing ahead of the curve,” Simonds said. Now we are essentially holding steady.” 

Simonds also attributed PDX’s decrease in growth to Boeing’s decision to ground the flawed 737 MAX plane. This decision forced airlines to cancel many flights and to prioritize their most profitable routes.  

This year’s travel in and out of PDX will almost certainly be reduced as result of the pandemic. 

By Tanveer Sandhu