RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For the first time in a decade, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport posted more than four million passengers in a year. These strong numbers for 2017 were an increase of 9.6 percent over 2016. The last time RTIA recorded four million was in 2008.
In addition to more passengers filling seats, the number of seats available into and out of Reno rose 9.5 percent over 2016. Staff attributes this gain to airlines bringing larger aircraft into RNO and four new destinations added. Southwest began flying nonstop to Dallas Love Field in January 2017, and to San Jose in June. United Airlines commenced service to Chicago O’Hare in June and Frontier Airlines added Denver in November.
While the airport is seeing an increase in air service, the airport's Spokesperson Heidi Jared said that while these new destinations are great news, people have to fill the airlines to keep the flights at the airport.
"We have got to fill the airlines," said Jared, "It is a very competitive business at the airline industry right now and if the seats are not full they could pull that aircraft to another market where they make more money."
Jared said that many airlines are noticing Reno and that it is important for our community to build on that momentum.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport ended the year strong with increased passenger counts during the holidays. In December 2017, the airport served 321,857 passengers, an increase of 7.1 percent versus December 2016. This represents 31 consecutive months of year-over-year monthly passenger growth.
Air cargo recorded a slight downward shift from its high of more than 156,000,000 pounds in 2016. In 2017 the airport handled 152,135,268 pounds total.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport currently offers 59 daily departures to 21 destinations on nine commercial airlines with 6,946 daily departing seats available. With seasonal flights, that number grows to 23 destinations.