N.O. airport to reach 80 percent of pre-Katrina flights in November

Fall will bring more flights to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to serve the growing number of conventioneers.

The airport will have 126 daily flight departures in October with 14,701 seats available in the market. This equates to 77.8 percent of the pre-Katrina flights and 71.1 percent of the pre-Katrina seats.

Delta is returning nine daily Atlanta flights and increasing the size of the aircraft for the New York LaGuardia flight.

American returned a third daily flight to Chicago after a summer absence and added a fourth flight to St. Louis.

In November, Armstrong's largest carrier, Southwest Airlines, adds eight flights to help the airport set a new high of 132 daily flights with 15,663 seats or the equivalent of 81.5 percent of the flights and 75.8 percent of the seats pre-Katrina.

"This is a very significant milestone to exceed 80 percent of the pre-Katrina flights," said Director of Aviation Sean Hunter. "The strong demand for air service is a great indicator of the region's recovery. "

Southwest will add the following flights to New Orleans Nov. 4 for a total of 35 flights to 11 destinations from New Orleans.

- Three new daily nonstop flights to Birmingham, Ala.

- Two more daily nonstop flights to Houston Hobby for a total of 11 daily.

- One more daily nonstop flight to Dallas Love Field for a total of six daily.

- One more daily nonstop flight to Las Vegas for two daily.

- One more daily nonstop flight to Orlando, Fla., for four daily.

"We've worked hard to bring the airlines back through air service incentives and providing them with useful data through on-going dialog and face-to-face visits," Hunter said. "One of the most productive tools has been bringing them to the New Orleans area for site visits. Seeing the region for themselves and meeting with hospitality, business and community leaders has greatly improved the effectiveness of our communication and has produced tangible results. Adequate levels of air service are integral to our economic recovery. "