January 24, 2019
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority saw a 16 percent increase in passengers last year, giving it a record 6.46 million. The last time the authority came anywhere close to that number was in 2007 with 6.3 million.
JAA's increase in passengers was steady throughout the year, as it set monthly passenger records seven out of the 12 months in 2018.
“This is an excellent milestone for our organization and Jacksonville as a whole,” JAA CEO Mark VanLoh said in a statement. “It’s reflective of the quality work done by the entire JAA team as well as Jacksonville’s status as a dynamic and attractive city.”
Overall, JAA handled almost 900,000 more passengers last year than in 2017. The growth was fueled by new carriers, new destinations, increased flight frequencies and larger aircraft.
The authority expects its momentum to continue into 2019. Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has made its weekend service to Dallas into a daily service; Spirit Airlines will begin daily service to Baltimore and Ft. Lauderdale in February; and Frontier Airlines will begin its service to Raleigh-Durham in April. JAA also plans to open its VIP lounge this summer.
VanLoh recently spoke to the Business Journal about his vision for West Coast flights, the Spaceport and trans-Atlantic routes, as well as the impact the ongoing partial government shutdown has had on Jacksonville International Airport.
By Will Robinson – Reporter, Jacksonville Business Journal