Skip to main content

MSP Airport preparing for influx of travelers this summer

Airlines are re-starting routes at MSP this summer as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.
MSP airport

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is starting to get busy again.

In the lead up to Memorial Day weekend (the traditional start to the summer travel season), airlines are operating 176 routes from MSP Airport, which is a high for the COVID-19 pandemic, a news release from the Metropolitan Airports Commission says. 

“We are seeing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to unwind with increased vaccination rates, fewer domestic travel restrictions, and growing confidence in the safety of air travel,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the MAC, which operates MSP.

"In response to pent-up demand, airlines are significantly expanding service domestically this summer, with a particular focus on vacation destinations.”

MAC says airlines will operate 185 routes at MSP by late June, while only 40 MSP routes remain suspended. Airport officials expect more routes to start up again as the pandemic outlook continues to improve and travel restrictions are lifted.

The average number of departures at MSP Airport this month is 346, up from 139 a year ago when the travel industry was experiencing the worst shutdown period of the pandemic. 

And the average number of departures at MSP is going up. By June it'll be at 404 and will go up to 431 in July. 

“This summer our terminals will be far busier than we’ve seen since the pandemic began,” Ryks said. “Even though many people have been vaccinated at this point, we are continuing the robust cleaning and sanitization program adopted in response to the pandemic, and federal regulations still require that masks be worn at airports and on aircraft.”

MSP will still require face coverings as part of its COVID-19 safety protocols (TSA is requiring facemasks on airplanes still too). Other COVID precautions at the airport include: "vigorous" cleaning, social distancing reminders, hand sanitizing stations, protective barriers between travelers and staff, and contactless options, from prepaid parking to touchless food pick-up and delivery options in Terminal 1. 

A look at flights that are resuming

The MAC cites Sun Country Airlines' five new domestic routes (Orange County, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, Cincinnati and Hartford) launched earlier in May, as well as Delta Air Lines two new routes being launched this summer (Providence, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine), as well as the airline restarting 10 other domestic routes in June that have been suspended since last year. 

Alaska Airlines is also starting new seasonal service to Anchorage June 5 and Southwest Airlines will begin its year-round service to Austin the next day. 

Meanwhile, international routes, which have been slower to rebound due to travel-related restrictions, are showing a positive trend for coming back online. 

Delta took "another step" to restart its international routes from MSP by resuming its Amsterdam service in February and Mexico City on May 5. It'll restart its flights to Iceland on May 27, and will resume its Paris and London flights "later this summer," MAC said.

MAC adds other airlines are resuming international service, like Air France, which will restart its MSP to Paris flight on June 9. Icelandair will restart its Iceland service on June 20. And Condor's Frankfurt service is tentatively scheduled to start again in July. 

Next Up

Blaine VFW video screengrab crop N West Twitter

Authorities now looking into MN lawmaker's report of assault

Video shows Rep. Nolan West being grabbed and pushed out of a public event.

TajPharmaImages WIkimedia Commons ivermectin

COVID treatments: Essentia Health to help test 3 existing meds

The clinical trial includes the much-discussed drug ivermectin.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 3.48.57 PM

Suspect crashes into Minneapolis snow plow, fires shots at plow driver

The plow driver was pulled to the side of the road when the incident happened.

cold Minneapolis

Coldest day of the winter is possible this week in Minnesota

An air temp of -30F isn't out of the question too far from the metro.

polley freeborn county jail roster jan 2022 resize

District fires school counselor accused of sexually assaulting student

He's been charged with felony criminal sexual conduct.

Moorhead family

Authorities pinpoint source of CO that killed family of 7

The victims, all members of Hernandez-Pinto family, were found dead in a Moorhead home.

polymet mining

Court issues mixed ruling on PolyMet, orders more analysis on water permit

The court, however, overruled several challenges to the permit.

SPPD Kua person of interest 01-24-2022

Police release images of woman driving stolen Audi that had puppy inside

It's not clear whether she was involved in the vehicle theft.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Fatal hit-and-run driver can avoid prison time with plea deal

He was charged with striking and killing a 56-year-old who was walking her dog.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 11.21.49 AM

Alex Rodriguez: 'I'm not a Packers fan'

He was at Lambeau screaming "Cheese!" and "Let's go!" during the playoff game against the 49ers.

Related

sun country

Sun Country adds 9 more flights out of MSP Airport

The new additions include large cities and popular outdoor destinations.

sun country

Sun Country adds 7 new routes from MSP Airport this spring

It's also resuming four routes from the Twin Cities.

Pixabay airport traveler

MSP Airport reports busiest month since start of pandemic

Passenger volume in July was the highest it has been since February of 2020.

unnamed (1)

Record passenger numbers at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in 2019

The airport has passed 39 million passengers for the first time.

Sun Country woos Duluth, Mankato travelers with shuttles to MSP

The airline announced the new direct services this week.