Asheville, NC - The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority reported a seven percent increase in passenger traffic for the 2013 calendar year, which was the third highest number of annual passengers reported in the past decade. While traffic each year varied, overall Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) has seen a steady increase in traffic over time.
In 2013, seven consecutive months of increased traffic were reported from June through December, with December 2013 showing a 28% increase in traffic over December 2012. The upswing in traffic in 2013 can be credited to several factors like new routes, added available seats, and this region's strong utilization of services at AVL.
Two new non-stop flights to Florida were added by ultra low-cost carrier Allegiant Travel Company, one of Asheville Regional Airport's (AVL) newest partners. A flight to St. Petersburg, Fla. was added in June and a flight to Ft. Myers, Fla. was added in October, coinciding with the increase in traffic.
Other partner airlines were able to increase the number of seats available on existing flights by more than 15% during some months in summer and fall. Residents in the area choosing to fly local are another contributing factor, keeping planes full.
"Any year where the traffic percentages have increased is positive but to show a trend that we are growing over time is meaningful," said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., executive director of Asheville Regional Airport. "Airlines have realized that we have a strong demand for air service in this market and we are seeing full flights."
Looking forward, Bleiweis says, "It is the people of western North Carolina who are driving this positive trend and we look forward to their support in 2014."