Asheville, N.C.– For the eighth month in a row this year, passenger traffic increased at Asheville Regional Airport. The number of travelers departing from Asheville increased 11% for the month of August 2014 compared with August 2013, and was the biggest recorded August in the airport’s history with a total of 75,421 passengers.
The increase in passenger traffic locally is in line with a national trend of summer travel growth compared to last year. Simultaneously, AVL’s significant increases have been influenced by several specific factors: a new non-stop route, larger planes with two-class service, and more airline seats in the market. Also, Asheville’s growing reputation as a leisure destination continues to draw more travelers to the region through the airport.
The newest non-stop route to Palm Beach, Fla. operated by ultra low-cost carrier Allegiant Travel Company started in May, which added to the flight options available for travelers. At the same time, Delta Air Lines and US Airways (American Airlines) replaced several of their smaller regional jets with larger aircraft, offering more spacious cabins and two-class service – amenities desired by some travelers. And seats in the market continue to rise compared to the same period last year, with October and November projections showing 24% and 16% increases respectively.
The flights from the airport are also full, with the average flight from AVL this summer at about 86% capacity. “The airlines offer excellent service that is highly utilized by air travelers,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., executive director of Asheville Regional Airport. “Travelers can access hundreds of destinations world-wide to and from Asheville Regional Airport, often with one connection through a major hub airport, or non-stop to eleven destinations. Our convenience, ease and desirable flight schedules continue to be embraced by travelers in our region, and we also continue to welcome more and more visitors to the area.”
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The Airport Connectivity Quality Index, released in June 2013 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), showed Asheville Regional Airport as the best connected non-hub airport in the United States.