2017 was the busiest year in the history of the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), with a record 993,129 total passengers. That’s up 4.2% from last year, and up 35.7% since 2011.
Ed Brady, chairman of the airport board of directors, says “Without our customers, and their decision to fly from Springfield, none of this would be possible. I want to thank everyone for supporting our local airport.”
“2017 broke all kinds of airport records,” says Brian Weiler, SGF’s director of aviation. “And 2018 might be the year we break the 1-million passenger benchmark. This summer Allegiant adds four to five more flights a week from Springfield. That alone will add at least 6,000 passengers — bringing us that much closer to 1-million passengers in a single year. The airlines are bullish on Springfield.”
Last year’s 4.2% growth was propelled by several factors, including: a strong economy in Southwest Missouri, which prompted more people to fly, which in turn prompted the airlines to add non-stop destinations from Springfield.
Last year Allegiant added service to Ft. Walton Beach, and United added service to Houston. American Airlines added Charlotte service in late 2015.
Destinations aren’t the only way to measure growth …
“Last year the airlines increased the number of plane seats for sale in this market by more than 31,000. And that trend continues in the new year,” says Kent Boyd, SGF marketing director. They’re doing it by adding destinations, and by using larger airplanes. United, for example, has forty-eight percent more seats for sale in the first quarter of this year than last. The bottom line is that airlines wouldn’t be this generous unless they considered this a robust market.”
Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. They provide non-stop flights to 13 destinations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers.