United Airlines’ addition of a third daily flight to Denver helped spur the growth, as did Delta’s decision to extend its second daily flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul. In total, the airport saw a 5 percent growth over 2017 numbers.
“I’m proud of our team’s ability to consistently deliver excellent customer service while accommodating a record-setting number of passengers,” said Buck Taft, director of the airport. “The fact that more people are choosing to fly out of Tri-Cities instead of taking the long drive over the mountains is a sign that convenience and customer service are increasingly important to travelers.”
Airlines count their passengers in terms of enplanements, or the number of people who board an aircraft at an airport. The number of people arriving are considered deplanements; the sum of both numbers is an airport’s total passenger number.
In 2018, the airport saw 395,084 enplanements. United Airlines had the largest year-over-year gain: the carrier’s 60,547 enplaned passengers equate to a 23 percent increase. Delta’s numbers were also up in 2018, with 168,930 enplanements, or a 6 percent rise.
In total, Delta carried 43 percent of the market in 2018, Alaska had 32 percent, United 15 percent, and Allegiant 10 percent. The busiest month was December, which also saw a 15 percent increase of enplanements over the previous December.
PSC is the largest airport in the Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon region, and offers nonstop flights to seven destinations, including San Francisco, Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul. And 2019 will provide opportunities for even more passengers, as United Airlines will begin nonstop service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in March.