Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Area airport use grew despite Sandy groundings

February 19. 2013 5:36PM
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PITTSTON TWP. – Hurricane Sandy caused 82 flights to or from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport to be canceled, reducing the October passenger count by 3,702.

But Michael Connor, the airport's assistant director, said even with the losses – nearly all flights to and from Newark and Philadelphia between Oct. 28 and 31 were grounded – the airport saw an increase in passenger service from September.

The resumption of the twice-weekly Allegiant Airlines flights from the local airport to Orlando-Sanford, Fla., that had taken a one-month hiatus helped boost the October numbers by 1,264 seats. Overall, there was a 2,532 increase in enplanements compared to September, a 14.2 percent jump that took the passenger figures to 20,334 in October.

Connor noted that flying is cyclical and sometimes you can't read too much into the numbers. But in this case, he said there is reason to be satisfied.

October was a good month, Conner said. It's been a good turnaround lately.

While 2.6 percent below October 2011, the latest figures showed improvement from recent months; in September the passenger count was 13.6 percent below the year earlier.

At its Thursday's monthly meeting the Bi-County Airport Board also agreed to move forward with the purchase of a new firefighting vehicle at a cost of $234,562.

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