Mobile Airport Traffic Flying Higher
The Business View – September 2017 / News You Can Use
Larger aircraft and more competitive fares are the top two reasons the number of passengers flying out of Mobile Regional Airport continues to increase, according to Brian Belcher, director of marketing and air service development for the Mobile Airport Authority (MAA).
MAA has logged consistent passenger growth – many months with double-digit increases – for a solid year, making this the longest streak of growth since the mid-1990s, according to MAA statistics.
In February, American Airlines upgraded the aircraft used for its nonstop flights to Dallas and Charlotte, adding 26 seats per flight and a first-class section. “That’s more than 80,000 seats a year,” said Belcher, predicting the MAA numbers will continue to rise.
The average cost of a flight from Mobile is down by $90. “We are very competitive with our neighboring airports. When everything is relatively even, passengers choose to fly from their home community,” Belcher said.
Business travelers account for approximately 80 percent of the airport’s passengers, leaving approximately 20 percent driven by conventions and tourism.
For a city the size of Mobile, there are higher-than-average international travelers. Belcher said the number continues to grow as the international investment in the area grows.
Carnival Cruise Line’s move to reestablish operations has also contributed to the rise in the number of tourism travelers. Belcher said MAA continues to work with current carriers to add capacity and new non-stop destinations.
All three carriers – American, Delta and United, continue to see more passengers. Together they offer non-stop service to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas and Houston, with Houston as the most popular flight to and from Mobile.
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