Airlines carry record number of passengers, Jacksonville airport shows signs of recovery
Sep 18, 2017 
Will Robinson, Reporter
Jacksonville Business Journal

U.S. Airlines carried 414.4 million passengers in the first six months of 2017, a record high, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The passenger count is a 2.8 percent jump from the previous record, which was set last year.

Of these, 360.9 million or 87 percent flew domestically, and 53.5 million flew internationally. Both figures are also record highs.

Jacksonville International Airport carried 1.3 million passengers so far this year, a decrease of less than one percent from the first half of 2016. Almost 15 percent fewer passengers flew through the airport than a decade ago, but the passenger count has rebounded in recent years.

JIA bore the brunt of industry changes over the last decade. As airlines consolidated or went bankrupt, the airport lost airlines and flights.

Additionally, airlines now require planes to be more full to fly. In 2007, 77 percent of seats on JIA flights were sold, but that number rose to 83 last year.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) announced this month it would start new flights from the airport beginning in April 2018.