Low airfares, competitive service draw region’s travelers
MILWAUKEE (April 1, 2010) - Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today a 34% increase in the number of February passengers at General Mitchell International Airport, making it the busiest February on record. The total of 668,504 passengers was 168,479 more than last February’s 500,025 passengers.
Walker said, “Passengers from around Wisconsin and northern Illinois are enjoying the savings resulting from new, competitive service on Mitchell’s low-fare airlines. This busy, thriving airport will continue to drive the economic health of our area.”
Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “With a 34 percent increase in passengers, Mitchell soared past the national numbers and remains one of the fastest-growing airports anywhere.” Passenger traffic nationwide declined 2.9 percent in February, according to the Air Transport Association.
The airport has seen a significant increase in the number of northern Illinois and Chicago-area travelers making the under-60-minute drive to Mitchell to take advantage of its low fares and parking fees.
With 48 markets, Mitchell International has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data recently published by the Brookings Institute. Mitchell’s rank in a similar 2004 study was 34th. The new ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.
The average airfare out of Milwaukee was lower than the average at 89 other U.S. airports, according to the latest U.S. Department of Transportation statistics (3rd Quarter 2009). Mitchell’s average fare was about $81 less than O’Hare’s and $60 less than the nation’s average fare.