Passenger Numbers Flatline

 

After months of decline, our passenger numbers have flat-lined: in March our total passenger numbers were down one percent over the same month last year. In April we had a zero percent change. In normal times (meaning without a recession) being flat is bad. But these days it’s good. Check out the numbers and you’ll see what I mean:

 

Total Passenger Numbers:

 

  • April 2009...............0% change
  • March 2009............-1%
  • February 2009......-15%
  • January 2009........-14%
  • December 2008.......-5%
  • November 2008.....-21%
  • October 2008.........-19%
  • September 2008....-24%
  • August 2008..........-15%
  • July 2008...............-11%
  • June 2008................-9%
  • May 2008...............-16%
  • April 2008..............-13%
  • March 2008..............-1%
  • Feb 2008..................-1%
  • January 2008............7%

So what gives? Is the slide is passenger numbers over? Is the improvement a reflection of a growing economy? The signals are mixed… So far this year enplanements (the number of people getting on an airplane) nation wide are down 11 percent. Airline capacity is down 7 percent nation wide. At the Northwest Arkansas airport April numbers were down 13 percent. Very mixed signals, indeed. Let's look at the April enplanements for the airlines serving Springfield:

 

  • American: -12%
  • Delta: -23%
  • Northwest: -9%
  • United: -10%
  • Allegiant: 40%

That's right, Allegiant numbers were  up 40 percent in April. It’s likely the main line carrier numbers would have declined even further if they hadn’t been offering fire sales. So, bottom line, our passenger numbers are improving…but Allegiant seems to deserve most of the credit.

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