Passenger enplanements show strength with continued growth in January

The Piedmont Triad International Airport had a good year in 2017 with passenger enplanements growing nearly 4 percent over 2016, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority learned at its regular meeting today

“We have seen a definite increase in the number of passengers being served by the airport over the past year,” said Airport Executive Director Kevin Baker. “In part, those numbers reflect a better economy and more consumer confidence.

But, Baker noted, the numbers also represent efforts the airport has made to create a positive experience for passengers at the airport. And they represent an aggressive “Fly Easy” marketing plan that promotes the airport’s ease of use as it seeks to win back passengers from Raleigh and Charlotte

Those efforts appear to be paying off. Passenger growth continued through January 2018, with passenger enplanements up 5.5 percent over January, 2017, Baker told the Airport Authority. The better passenger figures are important because if they continue to improve, they may entice airlines to add more flights.

Airlines determine the level of air service in a community based on the community’s demand for service. Airports can ask airlines to provide more service, but that’s the extent of an airport’s influence. Airports have no real direct control over air service. It’s up to the airlines to decide what routes are worth flying.

“The great thing about these numbers is that they represent high load factors for the airlines. That means that planes flying from PTI are flying full. The only way to meet increased demand will be for the airlines to add more flights,” Baker said.