We've got good news, good news, and some more good news. It's good news in spades.
Let's start with Delta. Beginning June 10 the airline restores our service to Detroit and Minneapolis. We got word earlier this week in a face-to-face meeting with Delta's general manager for network planning. Our airport lost service to those cities during the depths of the recession. The fact that they're returning is testament to the tremendous growth our airport has seen over the past year.
Delta says the Minneapolis service well probably be seasonal (meaning a summer schedule only), unless it sees strong advanced bookings for the fall season. On the subject of Detroit, the airline says its "intent" is to make the service year-round. Delta plans to add several western routes out of Detroit, including Honolulu, Sacramento, and Phoenix. So that means Springfield customers will have more options for connecting West.
Allegiant good news! The airline's summer schedule is out and it is, in a word, awesome.
Take a look at this graph: The blue bar represents 2008. Red is 2009. Gold is 2010. The number on each bar shows the number of Allegiant flights in the given month. Look at July.
In July 2008 Allegiant flew 50 flights from Springfield. This July the airline plans 102 flights. That's more than a 100% increase over the same month in 2008! No doubt about it — Southwest Missouri loves Allegiant and Allegiant loves Southwest Missouri.
Now we're to the spades. Our 2009 momentum, that made us the only airport in the region with positive growth numbers, continues to roll! In February the airport's total passenger numbers were up 5% over the same month last year. It's our 14th consecutive month of positive or flat growth, and we did it with 16% fewer flights (in February).