AirTran Posts Record Quarter

Carried record number of passengers during period


Still, AirTran's close attention to seasonal service, which adds flights during peak travel months, shows what may increasingly be in store throughout the domestic industry.

"Airlines are studying markets very carefully before jumping in and increasing service," said Louis Miller, director of Tampa International Airport.

Nonetheless, AirTran has increased ridership at Tampa International by 20 percent in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 compared with the previous year. AirTran flies to 10 destinations nonstop from Tampa, second to Southwest with 31 nonstop destinations and ahead of Delta Air Lines with eight.

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport passengers have become accustomed to AirTran's seasonal service to St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit and Boston, along with year-round service to Atlanta, Baltimore and Chicago.

"AirTran is very successful at seasonal service and for us, people get to know it," said Rick Piccolo, the airport's chief executive. "Even the winter residents, they don't just come and go once, they fly back north for the holidays or visits and their friends come here.

Reporter Ted Jackovics can be reached at tjackovics@tampatrib.com or (813) 259-7817.

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