Augusta Regional Airport traffic increases despite American Eagle's departure

The loss of American Eagle flights from Augusta Regional Airport did not send traffic into a tailspin.

Instead, traffic increased by 3.4 percent in February compared with the same time last year, according to data released by the airport.

A total of 38,604 passengers used the airport in February – down from the 39,652 reported in January, but up from 37,348 in February 2011.

Marketing Director Diane Johnston said the airport has been on a steady growth trajectory for the past several years.

More people lately have chosen to fly out of Augusta instead of driving to Atlanta or Columbia. She attributed that to the reliability of flights and competitive fares.

Saying farewell to American Eagle did have an effect on the airport. If those flights were still going through Augusta, Johnston said, the growth in February would have been even greater.

“The fact that American Eagle pulled out can’t keep us from growing,” she said. “We are a little concerned about the number of seats in the market, though.”

Neither U.S. Airways nor Delta has added any seats to the Augusta market yet, she said, but the airport staff is working to expand travelers’ options.

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