Passenger numbers up last month at Savannah airport
August traffic at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport was up this year over last, offering some balm for the sting of JetBlue passing on Savannah in favor of the larger market and more favorable demographic of sister city Charleston.
Arrivals last month totaled 71,182, up 8.3 percent from August 2011; while departures were up 4.8 percent at 70,269.
While year-to-date numbers were down slightly – at 2.3 percent for arrivals and 2.8 percent for departures - the loss of two carriers in August of 2011 made last month the first that “compared apples to apples,” according to airport spokeswoman Lori Lynah.
“The key in determining how we’re doing is to look at available seats,” Lynah said. “In August, available seats were down while ridership was up, giving airlines a more favorable load factor and keeping prices reasonable.
"Hopefully, the increase in ridership will prompt airlines to increase the number of available seats .”
As for JetBlue, the airport has not ruled out an agreement down the road.
“If the company does well in the Charleston market, that might rate a second look for us,” Lynah said.