May 22, 2018
By Timothy Gibbons – Editor in chief, Jacksonville Business Journal
For Jacksonville International Airport, T.S. Eliot is wrong: April certainly wasn’t the cruelest month.
The airport saw more visitors this April than in any since it opened, staff members told the Jacksonville Aviation Authority board on Monday, with 545,386 people enplaning and deplaning.
This is up 13.55 percent from April 2017 and represents the seventh month of year-over-year passenger growth — a sustained period of growth that hasn’t been seen in a decade, said Chief Financial Officer Richard Rossi.
For the first seven months of the year, enplanements and deplanements were up 6.5 percent, with 1.7 million passengers using the airport.
About 18 percent of that increase came from Frontier Airlines Inc., which has been on a tear recently; earlier this month, it rolled out six new destinations from Jacksonville.
The higher number of passengers is also tied up with two other increases: Airlines are bringing more flights to JIA — which is now over 100 daily flights — and many of those planes are bigger than they were in the past.
The number of flights and the number of passengers should be up next year, the board was told, with passenger counts for the year projected to top 3 million for the first time in a decade.
Over that decade, the airport has gone from serving 27 destinations to serving 41.