Airport Traffic Rises In October

Air Travel
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Northern Nevada's tourism industry got a boost from continued growth in passenger traffic at the Reno airport in October, up 2.8 percent over last October.

The 379,620 passengers who moved through Reno-Tahoe International Airport put 2003 traffic 0.9 percent ahead of 2002 with two months left to report, according to the airport.

The number of people flying nationally is down 3 percent for the year after dropping almost 1 percent in October, according to the Air Transport Association, a U.S. trade group representing 14 airlines.

"We are feeling pretty good about our performance against nationwide enplanements," Thomas Medland, director of marketing and air service development, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The airport offers 87 daily nonstop departures now with 10,242 available seats, compared with 76 flights and 8,723 seats at the same time last year.

The 1,519 additional seats make a difference, Medland said.

"That is a good number," he said. "From a business point of view, both the ski resorts and casino resorts, the more seats the better."

The number of flights is below the all-time high of 127 set in 1997, but the airport was overserved then before Reno Air shut down, Medland said.

The health of Reno's air market is shown in the percentage of seats filled on local flights, which ended October at 72 percent, Medland said.

In October 1997, Reno flights only filled an average of 57 percent of their seats, he said.

Cargo shipped through the airport increased 5.2 percent in October, but is still down through the first 10 months of the year because of low shipment weights in March, May and June.

Flight changes for December include:

- Continental bringing back a 737 to Houston, which it discontinued last month.

- United discontinuing a flight to Denver and adding a flight to San Francisco, as well as a temporary flight to Los Angles for the weekend before Christmas.

- Northwest discontinuing a flight to Minneapolis from Dec. 3 to Dec. 18.