SAN JUAN – The Institute of Statistics of Puerto Rico released updated data Friday on the movement of passengers on domestic flights up to April, as reported by airlines to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
A summary of the results follows:
–In the last four months of last year (September to December 2017) during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, some -200,000 net passengers left on domestic flights.
–In contrast, in the first four months of the year (January to April 2018), some 72,000 people arrived in Puerto Rico in net terms on domestic flights.
–This represents a remarkable change with respect to previous years. For example, for the same period the previous year (January to April 2017), instead of a net arrival of passengers, almost 40,000 net airline passengers had left.
–In the first 10 months of fiscal year 2018, there has been a net movement of air passengers in domestic flights of almost -155,000 air passengers. In the last three calendar years (2014, 2015 and 2016), the net movement of air passengers on domestic flights, -89,000 passengers left on average per year.
“We’ve been trying to identify a pattern of return after Hurricane Maria. Finally, these data confirm that trend. Although the figure does not indicate that a similar number of people have returned among those who left after the Hurricane, the data suggest that this process of return has begun. We will have to see how the movement of passengers behaves during this summer to have a more complete picture.
“But, for the moment, these data suggest that for the 2017-18 fiscal year there will be a net migration of approximately between -150,000 and -170,000 people. If so, this will represent an increase of the migration wave Puerto Rico had been experiencing before the Hurricane, which hovered around 90,000 a year before Hurricane Maria. But, at the same time, it will represent a substantially lower increase than the -250,000 people that had been projected in the last Fiscal Plan,” Dr. Mario Marazzi-Santiago, executive director of the institute, said in a release.