- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Winter-weary residents of northern Illinois escaping to sunny locations to the south have helped boost passenger numbers at Rockford’s airport.

January traffic figures at Chicago Rockford International Airport rose 8.6 percent over the same month in 2013.

The airport said that was thanks to strong Florida and Arizona traffic and the introduction of service to Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

More than 17,700 passengers used the airport in January.

Allegiant and Apple Vacations are the two airlines operating out of Rockford. Their eight non-stop flights connect Rockford with warm-weather destinations that include Cancun, Mexico; Ft. Myers, Fla.; and Las Vegas.

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