Airport Looks To Break More Records
The local airport could be headed for another record run.
With an August that amounted to the second best month in its 71-year history, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport could get another boost this month with the United Express’ addition of a third daily flight to Chicago and the airline’s start of two daily flights to Washington, D.C., airport director Carl Beardsley Jr. said.
United’s new Chicago flight is scheduled to begin Oct. 5 and the Washington, D.C. flights on Oct. 4.
United’s twice-daily service to Newark ends Oct. 3.
After a record 2017, monthly airport departures slumped a bit this year after Allegiant Air ended its service here in January.
In June, American began two flights to Chicago, which Beardsley said contributed to the surging August departures.
In August, 25,522 passengers flew out of the airport. Only the July 2017 total of 25,671 departing passengers was higher since the airport opened. The August figure was up 6.8 percent from 23,891 in August 2017, Beardsley said.
Allegiant planes flew to Tampa and Orlando in Florida and its withdrawal left the airport without service to the Sunshine State.
Finding a carrier to fly to passengers to Florida remains “a top priority,” Beardsley said.
Before Allegiant’s departure, the airport regularly set monthly departure records in 2016 and 2017, Beardsley’s second and third years as director.
A record 268,197 passengers departed on jets leaving the airport last year, shattering the annual record of 246,543 in 1990.
The 2017 total rose 15 percent from 2016.
The airport’s draft long-term master plan projects more than 335,000 departures by 2035.
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