United Airlines’ addition of a nonstop flight to Los Angeles helped drive up passenger counts, as did Allegiant Airlines’ decision to use larger Airbus planes on its routes. In total, the airport saw an 11 percent growth over 2018 numbers.
“To beat 2018’s record by more than 10 percent is incredible,” said Buck Taft, director of the airport. “It’s also a testament to how hard our staff works to provide a travel experience that keeps passengers coming back. We’re grateful to everyone who chose to fly local last year, and hope to see them again in 2020.”
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 394,993 enplanements, which was then an all-time high for the airport. In 2019 PSC processed 438,123 enplaned passengers—an 11 percent increase over the year prior.
Despite 2018 being a record-setting year, all four airlines that serve Tri-Cities Airport saw an uptick in their passenger counts in 2019. United Airlines had the largest year-over-year gain: the carrier’s 75,445 enplaned passengers equate to a 25 percent increase. Delta’s numbers were also up in 2018, with 181,781 enplanements, or an 8 percent rise. Alaska had 138,568, which is an 8 percent increase, and Allegiant Airlines’ 42,329 enplaned passengers is a 13 percent increase over the previous year.
In total, Delta carried 41 percent of the market in 2019, Alaska had 32 percent, United 17 percent, and Allegiant 10 percent. The busiest month was March 2019, which saw an 18 percent increase of enplanements over the previous March.
PSC is the largest airport in the Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon region, and offers nonstop flights to eight destinations, including Phoenix-Mesa, Denver, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. This coming year will provide additional opportunities for travel, as United Airlines has already announced it will add a second daily nonstop flight to San Francisco in May and the airport’s first redeye flight to Chicago O’Hare in June.
Additional statistics can be found here on the Tri-Cities Airport’s website.