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Monthly passenger count rises at Bob Hope Airport

The number of passengers traveling through Bob Hope Airport in July was up 3.8% compared to the same month last year, according to airfield officials.

There were 334,378 passengers in July, compared to 322,512 in July 2014, about 1,200 passengers shy of airport projections for the month.

The passenger-count hike in the first month of the airport’s 2015-16 fiscal year was reported Tuesday during a Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority meeting. It follows five months of similar increases at the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, which ended June 30, and an overall improvement of 2.2% in passenger traffic for the fiscal year.

With a total of more than 2.26 million passengers, compared to roughly 2.21 million passengers a year ago, the number of passengers is up more than 2.4% for the first seven months of the 2015 calendar year, compared to where it stood at the same time in 2014.

It’s the first time since 2007 that the airport’s passenger numbers have increased through the first half of the year, according to a statement from the airport released Tuesday. Airfield officials attributed the increase to the airlines’ seasonal adjustments in June for summer travel, which ramped up the number of flights from Burbank.

Mark Hardyment, the airport’s director of government and environmental affairs, said Alaska Airlines “was the real strong performer” in July. The airline’s passenger counts continued a trend of recent growth with a 13% rise compared to the same month in 2014.

The commuter air carrier SeaPort Airlines, which recently signed a lease to consolidate its Southern California offices and maintenance operations at Bob Hope Airport, was up 863% — more than 1,500 passengers — compared to the same period last year.

United Airlines was up more than 15% in July, compared to the same month in 2014, but Hardyment noted that the increase still left several available seats on the carrier unfilled during the month. Southwest Airlines, the largest carrier serving the airport, saw a hike of 2.8%, or more than 6,600 passengers, while JetBlue Airways stayed relatively flat.

Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airways saw passenger traffic decline in July compared to the same month last year. The largest drop affected U.S. Airways, which is merging with American Airlines and will begin operating as American next month. Its passenger numbers slid roughly 14.3%, or more than 2,700 passengers.

The airport’s parking revenues in July increased 4.6%, with fees generating more than $1.56 million, up from about $1.49 million in July 2014. The actual revenues surpassed budget projections by 4.7%.

The numbers of drivers using parking facilities was up more than 13%, compared to the prior July, which Hardyment called “a very strong performance.” The statistic tracks the number of parking stubs redeemed, including those redeemed by Lyft and Uber drivers picking up passengers in the short-term parking facility.

Based on the parking revenues for the calendar year 2015, so far, Hardyment said the airport is on track to contribute roughly $2 million in parking tax revenues to the city of Burbank’s General Fund.

Other airports in the region also reported boosts in passenger tallies for July. The number of travelers at Los Angeles International Airport rose by 6%. There was also a nearly 11% gain at John Wayne Airport in Orange County and a 1.45% increase at Ontario International Airport.

However, Long Beach Airport saw a 17.6% decrease for the month, continuing a trend of monthly declines that has the airport’s passenger traffic down 12.6% for the year, so far.

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