Ford airport passenger traffic takes off with Southwest

Ford airport passenger traffic takes off with Southwest

Airports served by Southwest Airlines tend to see lower fares and increased passenger traffic — a result dubbed “The Southwest Effect” by The U.S. Department of Transportation. ©

Ford airport’s most recent numbers on monthly passenger traffic are up, thanks in large part to Southwest Airlines.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport saw a 9.4-percent increase in passenger activity this September, compared to last year.

GFIA had 92,173 enplaned passengers and 87,828 deplaned passengers this September, while it had 83,537 enplaned passengers and 81,027 deplaned passengers during the same period last year.

The airport’s year-over-year passenger traffic has increased each month this year.

The airport is crediting the addition of Southwest Airlines with September’s particularly large increase.

September marks the first full month of Southwest service. The low-cost airline joined the terminals on August 11.

Southwest, which bought out AirTran, had 27,451 passengers this September. AirTran had 13,197 passengers last September.

“We are very encouraged by the initial response we’ve seen to the new Southwest service from area travelers,” said Brian Ryks, GFIA executive director.

The airport said that Delta Airlines, United Airlines and Allegiant Air also saw increases in passenger numbers this September.

“We are working hard to ensure our customers have as many options as possible, from both network and low-cost carriers when flying to and from GFIA,” Ryks said.

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