Counts are not flying high at Bob Hope Airport

Bob Hope Airport saw its summer slide continue into autumn, as the number of passengers traveling through the airport fell by more than 7% in September.

The airport handled 300,860 passengers in September, an almost 7.2% decrease compared to 324,176 in September 2012, according to statistics released by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday.

The September decline follows a summer-long drop, as the number of passengers slid 3.4%, 8.2% and 7.3% in June, July and August, respectively.

Airport Executive Director Dan Feger said that although the overall summer trend followed what airfield officials expected, each month was below what was projected in the airport's annual budget.

Feger said one piece of hopeful news was that the airport's largest carrier, Southwest, saw only a 1.4% decline despite a seasonal reduction in the number of flights out of the airport.

“They were hoping the passengers would still fly out of here and just fly on different flights and I think you're seeing that strategy is working,” he said.

In another bright spot, Southwest officials informed the airport that they are adding three weekly round-trip flights to the airline's fall schedule starting this week, after eliminating 43 weekly flights in September.

During the first nine months of this year, roughly 2.87 million passengers traveled through Bob Hope Airport, a 5.3% drop from about 3.03 million passengers during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, other airports in the region reported a wide range of passenger totals in September. Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana saw 5% and 3% hikes, respectively. However, Ontario Airport reported an 8.4% decline and Long Beach Airport had an 8.6% drop.

Bob Hope Airport's parking revenues in September were up by about 4% over last year.

Feger said that the continued growth of parking revenues even as the number of passengers declined was a sign that airport's higher-cost lots — preferred by business travelers — were seeing increased activity.

“We agree that you're seeing a little bit more business activity and people who are parking in higher cost lots as opposed to recreational travelers who park in the [lower cost] lots,” he said.

Bob Hope Airport brought in $1.56 million in parking revenues in September, compared to $1.5 million in September 2012.


Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.


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