Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Will Rogers Passenger Boardings Up for May

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Will Rogers Passenger Boardings Up for May

Article excerpt

As airline traffic patterns and equipment usage change, shifting passenger patterns also emerge, at least at Will Rogers World Airport.

Passenger boardings continued to increase at the airport in May, as 160,170 people left Oklahoma City by air. This is an increase of 5.6 percent from 151,699 in May 1995.

The number of passengers ar-riving at Oklahoma City also was up. There were 153,360 inbound passengers in May, up 3.3 percent from 148,379.

This marks the sixth consecutive month in which there has been an increase compared with the same month of the previous year.

For the first five months of 1996, there have been 683,103 boardings, up 5.5 percent from 647,280. There also have been 687,132 arrivals for the first five months, up 6.7 percent from 660,004.

With this increased traffic, there has been a shift in passenger preference for carriers.

An example is United Airlines, which at one time rated number seven in Oklahoma with about 7 percent of the total boardings. It now is the number two air carrier serving Oklahoma City.

Trans World Airlines, which battled United for the number seven and eight spot with between 7 percent and 8 percent of the boardings, is number four.

American Airlines, which at one time was dominant carrier here and then slipped to second place among the carriers, now is down to number seven.

One thing hasn't changed in the past four years, however. Southwest Airlines still is the dominant carrier out of Oklahoma City with 30.9 percent of the boardings.

At one time, Southwest, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines were the big three. Combined they accounted for two-thirds of the passenger boardings out of Oklahoma City.

United's rise to the number two ranking began slowly in 1991 during its search for a site for a $1 billion maintenance hangar. Oklahoma City was on that list, but lost at the last minute to Indianapolis.

But the publicity generated during the search helped fuel United's ascension.

Although publicity has changed, United is growing because of more awareness about the carrier on the part of the traveling public, according to Joe Hopkins, United's manager of media relations. …

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