Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Quad City International Airport (KMLI) passenger numbers continue decline in July

The Quad-City International Airport narrowed its decline in passengers in July as airport officials announced an 11 percent decline in enplanements and deplanements.

Bruce Carter, the airport's aviation director, announced the monthly results at the Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority's regular meeting Tuesday.

Enplanements totaled 29,013 in July compared to 32,616 for the same month a year ago. Total passengers, or enplanments and deplanements combined, also decreased 11 percent to 57,614 vs. 64,743 a year ago.

Carter said he expected a stronger July from the summer travel season, but attributed the decline in passengers to the economy and higher air fares.

He told the governing board that none of the carriers appear to be adding any seats to the market this fall, but Allegiant still plans to restore its Punta Gorda, Florida, flight in December.

"We'll be getting a new city, which people have been wanting, but not until Dec. 15,'' he said after the meeting.

The largest decline percentage-wise was by United Express, which enplaned 6,875 passengers compared to 9,672 a year ago. Other carriers posted these enplanements in July: Allegiant, 5,336, down 2 percent; American Eagle/Envoy, 6,193, -10 percent; Delta Airlines, 10,445, -2 percent.

Charter planes saw a 720 percent increase in July, with 164 passengers compared to 20 a year ago. Carter said part of the increased charter traffic was from the John Deere Classic.

Meanwhile, Carter said airport staff have aggressively pursued additional cargo freight business "and cargo is really exploding."

He credited Jason Sandefur, who runs the airport's airline fueling operation, QCIA Airport Services, with undergoing forklift training to allow the airport to expand its services to include cargo handling.

"There wasn't a mechanism in place for someone to unload the airplane (cargo) and load a truck. Now we've got people trained and people who are aggressive," Carter said.

The QCIA Airport Services deplaned, or offloaded, 41,579 pounds of freight in July, which was part of the 88,688 total freight deplaned at the airport. Total deplaned freight was up 114 percent from July 2016.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://qctimes.com

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