May and June passenger traffic at Columbia Metropolitan Airport increased 9% compared to those two months last year, according to the airport’s latest traffic report.
More than 101,000 passengers used CAE in May, with another 97,000 patronizing the airport in June. That’s an increase of 8,600 compared to May 2017 and 7,600 compared to June 2017.
Mike Gula, promoted to airport executive director in May, said more people choosing the airport helps make the case to airlines for increased flight options.
“In our industry, growth tends to be a catalyst to more growth,” Gula said.
The airport said Delta Air Lines will increase aircraft size this fall on flights to Columbia. The airline, which currently uses 110-seat jets on flights between Columbia and Atlanta, plans to begin using 149-seat jets.
“The growth we’ve seen in the first half of the year happened without new capacity,” said Anthony Gilmer, the airport’s director of air service and marketing. “There are 53,000 more seats for sale from CAE in 2018 than there were in 2017.”
In June, American Airlines introduced mainline jet service between Columbia and the airline’s Dallas-Fort Worth hub. The twice-daily service was upgraded to 140-seat jets.