Augusta Regional Airport traffic increases despite American Eagle's departure

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:36 PM
Last updated 8:29 PM
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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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countyman 03/20/12 - 07:22 pm
There's no telling how much

There's no telling how much Augusta Regional can continue to expand... The airport was underused for multiple years, and it's starting recently(since 2006) to experience rapid growth.. The completion of I-520/Palmetto Pkwy really helped draw some of the SC metro residents away from Columbia's airport..

Even with the loss of American Eagle due to bankruptcy.. The airport will continue to grow faster next few years.. Delta adding mainline service in 2011, valet parking, parking expansions, new FBO terminal, expanded fire station, restaurant & gift shop, $13 million FAA grant for runway improvements, etc..

The biggest news is the construction of General Perry Smith Pkwy and the purchasing of 50 acres last year.. The new road will connect to the future Augusta Regional Industrial Park... Now if we can incorporate those nonstop flights to NYC/Washington DC, and add locations to the Midwest(Chicago, Denver) and the West Coast(LA, Seattle, Phoenix) will really step our game.

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