San Jose and Oakland’s airports are poised to embrace the potentially busy launch of the summer travel season at a time when a post-coronavirus pandemic rebound in passenger trips is starting to stall.

The South Bay and East Bay aviation hubs have begun to experience a marked flattening of the number of passengers they are handling yearly, according to this news organization’s analysis of the most recently available airport statistics.

While one Southwest airplane arrives, another one gets ready to depart from the San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport on Thursday, April 11, 2024. The San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport is expected to be busy throughout the Memorial Day holiday travel weekend. More than 130,000 passengers are expected at the airport during the long weekend. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
Southwest Airlines jetliners are visible at Oakland International Airport, May 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Here are some of the latest statistics for passenger trips reported by San Jose International Airport and San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport:

— In March, San Jose handled slightly more than 930,500 passengers, which was down 3.6% from the same month the year before. Over the one-year period that ended in March 2024, the airport handled 12.05 million passengers, which was down 0.4% from the 12.1 million passengers the airport accommodated in 2023.

— San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport accommodated nearly 904,300 passengers in March, which was down 0.9% from the same month in 2023. Over the 12 months that ended in March, the airport handled 11.27 million passengers, up 0.3% from the 11.24 million passengers the East Bay travel complex accommodated in 2023.

Both San Jose and Oakland remain far below the lofty altitudes they achieved in 2019, the final year before the economic maladies unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic began to afflict the travel and hotel sectors both in the Bay Area and worldwide.

San Francisco International Airport, similarly, has a long way to go before it climbs back to the levels it reached in 2019.

Here’s how far away the Bay Area’s three airports are from their pre-pandemic heights:

— San Jose’s passenger totals over the 12 most recent months were 22.7% below the number of passengers the South Bay aviation hub achieved in 2019 when it handled a record high 15.65 million passengers.

— Oakland’s passenger totals during the one-year period ending in March were 16% below the 13.38 million passengers the East Bay aviation complex accommodated in 2019.

— San Francisco’s 50.98 million passengers over the 12 months ending in March were 11.3% below the 57.49 million passengers SFO handled in 2019.

San Jose airport officials reported that estimates from airlines suggest that during the Memorial Day travel weekend that is now underway and concludes on May 31, 376,358 seats are available for both arriving and departing flights.

The latest Memorial Day available seat numbers for San Jose, however, were 10.7% below the 419,024 available seats during the similar Memorial Day travel season in 2023.

San Jose’s airport was uplifted by the Frontier Airlines announcement that the low-cost air carrier has decided to launch daily nonstop services from the South Bay to five destinations this summer.

In July, Frontier Airlines will initiate flights to link San Jose to Denver and San Diego. In August, the air carrier will launch flights connecting San Jose with Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

“As we look forward to a strong summer travel season, we are thrilled to launch these nonstop routes from San Jose,” said Josh Flyr, Frontier Airlines’ vice president of network and operations.