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Home > About BNE > Press Room > 2011 Archive > January > BNIA Traffic Rebounds, NFIA Spikes


BNIA Traffic Rebounds, NFIA Spikes

Business First - by James Fink

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Passenger counts at both Buffalo Niagara International Airport and at Niagara Falls International Airport continue to climb, with Niagara Falls’ airport seeing an 80 percent rise.

Buffalo International reported a 3 percent increase in passengers in November while Niagara Falls is up 35.2 percent. Buffalo has eight major air carriers while Niagara Falls’ has two carriers with limited service schedules and a third due to start in January. For Buffalo, this marks the second consecutive month that passenger counts have risen and percentage-wise, it’s largest gain since last year.

“I view both as a sign that we are seeing the economy turn for the better and we are going back to older patterns,” said William Vanecek, director of aviation for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, operators of the two airports.

In hard numbers, Buffalo International handled 207,078 outbound passengers in November up from the 200,878 it handled last November.

Southwest was the busiest carrier, seeing 56,797 outbound passengers compared with 55,031 last November, a 3.2 percent increase.

JetBlue was second with an 11.39 percent spike in outbound passengers to 35,735 last month from 32,082 last November.

For the year-to-date, the airport handled 2.41 million outbound passengers, down 2.2 percent from the same period in 2009 when it handled 2.47 million outbound fliers. The airport remains on pace to handle more than 5 million inbound and outbound passengers this year.

Canadian passengers still account for 35 percent of the passenger count.

“Canadians seem consistent,” Vanecek said.

The large increase in Niagara Falls traffic comes as the airport marks the first anniversary of its new, 68,000-square-foot passenger terminal.

The airport’s anchor carrier, Direct Air, added new service to such cities as West Palm Beach while Vision Airlines began service on Dec. 17 and Spirit Airlines is due to start on Jan. 28 with limited flights and a full schedule in May.

Niagara Falls, in November, reported a 35.2 percent increase in outbound passengers to 1,995 this year from 1,476 last year. For the year-to-date, the number of outbound passengers it handled rose 80.1 percent to 31,210 this year from 17,331 in 2009.