Airport slowly returning to pre-Katrina levels

October 24, 2007 at 2:01 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is experiencing a boost in flights during October, with an additional 126 daily flight departures, which accounts for 14,701 seats.

The boost equates to 77.8 percent of the pre-Katrina flights and 71.1 percent of the pre-Katrina seats and is attributed to Delta returning to nine daily Atlanta flights and increasing the size of the aircraft for the New York LaGuardia flight. Also, American returned their third daily flight to Chicago after a summer absence and added a fourth flight to St. Louis.

"We've worked hard to bring the airlines back through air service incentives and providing them with useful data through on-going dialogue and face-to-face visits," Director of Aviation Sean Hunter said. "One of the most productive tools has been bringing them to the area for site visits. Seeing the region for themselves and meeting with hospitality, business and community leaders has greatly improved the effectiveness of our communication and has produced tangible results."

November will also bring substantial changes when Armstrong's largest carrier, Soutwest Airlines, adds eight flights to the market. With those changes, Armstrong will reach a new high of 132 daily flights with 15,633 seats, or the equivalent of 81.5 percent of the flights that were offered pre-Katrina.

"This is a very significant milestone to exceed 80 percent of the pre-Katrina flights," Hunter said. "The strong demand for air service is a great indicator of the region's recovery."

In addition, Southwest Airlines will also be adding 35 flights to 11 destinations from New Orleans on Nov. 4. There will be three new daily nonstop flights to Birmingham, two daily nonstop flights to Houston Hobby, and nonstop flights to Dallas, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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