- Associated Press - Sunday, January 25, 2015

HEBRON, Ky. (AP) - For the first time in almost a decade, there’s been an increase in the number of passengers flying through the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The Kentucky Enquirer (https://cin.ci/1CFp2pw) reports the airport had nearly 6 million passengers catch flights in and out of the airport last year. In 2013, it recorded 5.5 million passengers.

It is the airport’s first increase in total fliers since Delta Air Lines’ massive downsizing began in 2005. According to the newspaper, the airport had 22.5 million who caught flights in and out of the airport that year.

Airport officials say it is an indication that their plan to add low-cost flights and become a multi-carrier facility is starting to work.

In the last year, Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines have added dozens of weekly nonstop flights.

“The passenger growth will help attract more carriers and additional routes,” airport CEO Candace McGraw said. “The key is for businesses and the community to continue to support and use CVG.”

Much of the increase was due to leisure travelers, according to airport data that found 300,000 new fliers came through the facility.

“It’s getting people to think Cincinnati is turning a corner,” aviation expert Jay Ratliff said.

Another aviation expert, Michael Boyd, said the increase “shows you’re starting to settle down” after downsizing by nearly 500 flights. “There is no downside to this.”

Although high fares at the airport continue to hamper business recruiting, leaders promote the number of nonstop flights. Now, they will also point out the bump in passengers to show the airport is growing.

“The airport is heading in the right direction,” said Johnna Reeder, president and CEO of REDI Cincinnati, the region’s leading jobs-creating initiative. “We’ve seen a great deal of interest from the value and executive airlines. This increased competition … helps our argument for more flights. We have to capitalize on our momentum.”


Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, https://www.nky.com

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