The Rogue Valley International Medford Airport (MFR) was setting and then breaking, monthly passenger records regularly from 2014 to 2020. After back to back years with more then a million passengers flying in and out of MFR, nothing could seemingly stop the tremendous growth the airport was experiencing. Then in March 2020, the good times came to an abrupt stop. COVID had taken a record bite out of the worldwide airline industry, and MFR felt it.
That last monthly record was set in February 2020 with approximately 70,000 passengers. Then just two months later, MFR recorded a total of just 6,444 passengers in April 2020. To put it in perspective, MFR saw more then 82,000 passengers in April of 2019.
Since the global pandemic hit in March 2020, it’s been a rollercoaster of variants that directly affected air travel. But little by little, the Medford Airport continued to claw its way back, getting closer and closer each month to regaining passengers.
In 2019, MFR set its previous all-time March record of 81,495 passengers. In the pandemic year of 2021, March passenger numbers dropped to 58,517.
But after nearly 25 months of ups and downs, caused by a unprecedented global pandemic, MFR recorded its first monthly passenger record last month. In March of 2022, the Medford Airport welcomed 82,476 passengers through its gates. That’s an increase of over 24,000 passengers, when compared to March 2021.
One noticeable reason for the increase is caused by the airlines themselves. United is now flying larger Boeing 737’s on some of their direct daily Denver and San Francisco routes out of MFR. Allegiant has also bumped up their aircraft size out of Medford. The carrier now uses their largest Airbus A320 aircraft on nearly all their flights in and out of MFR.
As air travel continues to rebound, MFR officials are in the process of formulating an updated growth strategy for the regional airport. Talks include an terminal expansion, along with at least one new concourse with additional gates for aircraft.
We will continue to report on the growth and development of the Medford Airport as the process moves forward.