Skiers flocked with snow to Aspen’s airport this ski season but set no record |

Skiers flocked with snow to Aspen’s airport this ski season but set no record

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport had a busy winter this season for commercial fliers.

“To briefly summarize, it was a very good winter in terms of available seats, passenger traffic, and load factors but not quite a record season,” Fly Aspen Snowmass consultant Bill Tomcich said Friday in a message to clients.

The total December-through-April enplanements, or the number of people who boarded planes in Aspen, came out to 165,899, which is up 2.2% from enplanements totaled the previous winter (2021-22). However, total enplanements were still down from the record 174,293 enplanements during the 2018-19 winter season.

While total enplanements in the winter season are up, the load factor, or the percentage of available seating capacity that has been filled with passengers, is down from the previous winter season. The 2022-23 winter season had a 74.8% load factor, while the 2021-22 season had a 76.5% load factor.

Why are the total winter numbers up when the calendar year-to-date numbers are slightly down? According to Tomcich, it’s all about December. 

“With December added in, total seats flown are up over the winter prior, while total scheduled seats were down slightly. I’m sure you recall the many cancellations experienced over the holidays the winter before last. This winter’s improved reliability in December and January made the difference between overall ASE winter enplanements being up versus down from the winter prior,” he said.

The weather in the 2022-2023 winter season allowed for more flights to be completed. In the 2021-2022 winter, commercial flights were hit hard by Mother Nature’s wrath, Tomcich said.

“We had far fewer flights cancellations this past December, and that made a difference in overall numbers,” he said.

April marks the end of the winter season at the airport, and this April helped the season finish strong with 8.8% more passengers in and out of Aspen than April 2022. This April saw 271 flights scheduled in and out of Aspen, 3% more than last April, according to Airport April & Final Winter Season Results from Tomcich.

This April also boasted a better completion rate than 2022, completing 90% of flights as opposed to 2022’s 85.6%.