Passenger Traffic Up 8.3% in March
TULSA, OK – April 17, 2014 – Airport officials released March activity reports today which indicate passenger activity was up 8.3% over March a year ago at Tulsa International Airport. The increase is the largest growth in activity (unrelated to weather impacts) since January 2008.
Airports Director, Jeff Mulder, attributes the increase to a thriving local economy and additional flights compared to one year ago. Mulder said, “Tulsa’s energy, aviation, and manufacturing industries continue to perform well. As area industries thrive, the demand for both business and leisure travel increases as well. The airlines serving TUL scheduled over 2,800 additional seats and 99 additional flights in March compared to a year ago – improving the capacity available in and out of Tulsa.” Southwest Airlines launched daily service to Chicago Midway in April 2013 and Allegiant launched twice weekly service to Orlando in October 2013.
Another factor that has supported the airport’s air service development efforts over the past several months was the launch last March of the Tulsa Regional Air Service Initiative, a comprehensive program developed to retain and attract air service from TUL in order to grow TUL’s passenger numbers. Since the launch, the airport has actively engaged the business community in the discussion surrounding the air service needs of Tulsa travelers. That information has then been conveyed to airlines on a regular basis. TUL’s Air Service and Business Development Coordinator, Daniel Meier, believes the effort is paying off, “Airlines are always looking for opportunities to maximize their resources to optimize revenues. By having community information to back up our data, we are able to provide them with key pieces of information that will differentiate our market from others seeking service. This information is used in every airline meeting and was included in the airport’s effort to secure the US Airways service to Charlotte, which is scheduled to start on July 2.”
In support of the Tulsa Regional Air Service Initiative, airport staff submitted and won a bid to serve as the host city for Sixel Consulting’s 2014 Western Airports Conference, a three-day educational and networking event that will bring 43 airports and network planners from 17 airlines together to discuss industry trends and issues. The Conference will be held next week in downtown Tulsa. Meier was instrumental in securing the conference and believes having the planners visit Tulsa will be a tremendous benefit to the airport’s air service development efforts, “We will have the opportunity to demonstrate the vitality of our community – something difficult to do through a presentation at airline headquarters.” This will be the first time many planners have been to Tulsa and airport staff plan to use this opportunity to highlight Tulsa’s thriving economy and nationally recognized livability attributes to support their efforts to continue to grow Tulsa’s air service. Meier said, “This firsthand look at Tulsa may be what’s needed for the airlines to bump Tulsa up on the list when network decisions are being made.”