The month's total of 896,598 passengers was an increase of 41.5% over 633,763 passengers in March 2009. The total eclipses the previous high month, July 2008, which saw 821,610 passengers during the peak summer travel season.
The number of passengers for the first quarter of 2010 is a quarterly record at 2,262,597, a 39.6% increase over the year-earlier period.
By comparison, nationwide passenger count increased just 1.4% in March, said Barry Bateman, Mitchell International director.
knope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2644 posts, RR: 30 Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1405 times:
Once again, Milwaukee is serving more passenges than airports like Memphis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Oakland.
Unthinkable a couple of years ago.
Two keys things will make or break this trend for MKE
1. Milwaukee needs to continue to gain passengers from northern Chicago.
While there's a fair amount of local-market traffic stimulation...both people flying more based on low fares and an improved retention of the natural MKE market (some of which uses ORD)...the real jackpot comes from Lake and McHenry counties in Illinois. Well over a million people in those heavily suburban counties who overwhelmingly use ORD but could just as easily use MKE.
2. The connecting traffic AirTran and Midwest/Frontier are running through MKE need to be breakeven or marginal profitable.
A significant amount of the growth at MKE has come from running more connections through MKE. Many of those are price-based passengers who in past years might have connected in Pittsburgh or Cincinnati or St Louis. Speaking in general terms of course, US, DL and AA didn't find that traffic flow profitable enough to sustain those hubs. AirTran and Frontier's costs are on average solidly below US, DL and AA. Low enough to serve a lot of this traffic flow and break even or make money? We'll see.
I'm sure that some decisions made regarding MKE are sometimes influenced by testosterone and a game of chicken politely called "long term network strategy". But if costs are low enough and RASM is high enough to not take a bath on connecting traffic, then *maybe* what's going on is actually sustainable. The stronger item #1 is, the better shot that this has.