(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 5:50 PM
The number of passengers flying out of Lake Charles Regional Airport increased 20 percent for July 2013 compared to July 2012.
“This is the best July we’ve had since 2009,” said Executive Director Heath Allen.
With June and July being the two busiest months for the airport, it is the best June-July since 2000.
There were 6,039 departing passengers for July 2013 at the airport.
Allen attributes the favorable months to more competitive fares by airlines and an uptick in the local economy.
“The economy seems to be doing better in SWLA,” he said. “It’s all an indication of the region because an airport’s success goes hand in hand with the economy.”
The airplanes departing Lake Charles are 90 percent full — up from about 69 percent at the beginning of the year.
“That’s impressive,” he said.
Allen said it’s a good indicator as the airport attempts to attract additional service from airlines.
“It’s an opportunity for the airlines to increase frequency and get more flights, but they generally want to see a trend of that,” Allen said.
Another factor is that capacity, or the total number of passengers arriving Lake Charles, was down last month.
Historically, when you reduce capacity in the market we have a decrease in passengers.
“But we’re bucking the normal circumstances that would happen because the demand is there,” he said. “We’re very pleased with the numbers. It’s a good sign for the airport.”