The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport set a new record, ranking #38 out of 827 airports for passenger enplanements and #39 for arrivals among US airports. The new ranking, recently released by the federal agency, Research and Innovative Technology (RITA) Administration Bureau of Transportation Statistics is for 12 month period ending March 2013.
Since 2012, the percentage of change in enplanements increased from 4,244k to 4,301k or 1.35%. The percentage of deplanements during the 12 month study changed 0.86% from 4,252k in 2012 to 4,289k. This increase is in stark contrast with market conditions where an MIT study that was reported in Wall Street Journal recently showed that comparable airports have lost 26% of flights and 21.3% seats between 2007 and 2012. Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was ranked #40 among the nation’s airports. After the storm, the ranking had slipped to #56.
Armstrong International is served by 11 air carriers. Carrier shares are reported in the RITA report as follows based on both arriving and departing passengers from April 2012 to March 2013 (in thousands):
• Southwest Airlines – 2,910 passengers with a 33.87% share
• Delta Air Lines – 1,603 passengers with a 18.66% share
• United Airlines – 1,250 passengers with a 14.56% share
• American Airlines – 737 passengers with a 8.58% share
• US Airways – 445 passengers with a 5.18% share
• Other – 1,644 passengers with a 19.14% share
“We are encouraged by the data reported by RITA,” said Airport Director of Aviation Iftikhar Ahmad. “We continue to draw air service, while many of our peers are in a decline. The New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) appreciates the faith our airline partners have in the New Orleans market.”
“This is very good news for New Orleans,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “The new ranking indicates that we remain a popular destination for business and leisure passengers alike.”
New Orleans Aviation Board Chairwoman Cheryl Teamer said, “The Board and its staff have set improving air service to our region as one of the organizations primary goals. This ranking indicates we are moving towards that goal.”
The New Orleans Aviation Board has voted to keep fees for airlines stable in hopes of speeding the return of air traffic to the city.
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