Passenger traffic at T.F. Green Airport (Green) was up nearly 5% for December 2013, and the year end total traffic increased to 4.19%.
This is the first time in eight years that Green has recorded a year-over-year increase. Previous years had seen a decline in passenger traffic attributed to the economic downturn. Airlines reduced capacity due to the high cost of fuel, employing smaller aircraft and offering less frequency on a number of routes, creating fewer available seats. Airline mergers also have also adversely impacted the number of flights.
"We remain very optimistic that the best days are ahead for Green", said Kelly Fredericks, Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) president & CEO. "We are encouraged that more passengers prefer this facility, which was validated by our selection as the fourth best airport in the country and the first best airport for ease of access in the latest Travel and Leisure poll. Our focus is providing the best possible curb to gate experience by working with all our tenants to deliver a convenient travel option. Additionally, our goal is to increase air service opportunities, which will attract more passengers to Green," said Fredericks.
Dr. Kathleen Hittner, outgoing board chair for RIAC said, "This is great news for T.F. Green and demonstrates that our airport is a preferred travel option for many passengers. I could not be more pleased to end my tenure as board chair with the best passenger numbers on record in eight years and the runway extension approved and underway. I credit the dedication of our great board, employees, the air carriers and all our tenants that strive to make Green the fourth best airport in the country!"
Some highlights of the 2013 year end numbers include: • United Airlines posted a 19.76% increase in passenger traffic for December. • Delta Airlines recorded an increase of 13.25% in passenger volume for December. • US Airways carried 8.90% more passengers for December boosting year end numbers to +1.71%. The airline was the only incumbent to record a year-end increase. With the recently announced merger with American Airlines, there is greater opportunity for new service options in the future. • Southwest carried 1.40% more passengers in December. Although seat capacity is down, the carrier remains the largest airline at Green. • JetBlue made a significant contribution to positive year-end numbers for Green. The yearly passenger count totaled 266,653 for this carrier that began service in late November 2012.
"With our airfield improvement projects well underway, we remain positive for the future of T.F. Green," stated Fredericks. "Our new Go Green Partnership with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the cooperative marketing efforts with our tourism and CVB partners will all serve in our efforts to attract passengers and service to our airport."
Centrally located directly off of Interstate 95, Green Airport serves the Southeastern New England region, including Providence and Newport, RI, Groton/New London, CT, Fall River, New Bedford and the Cape Cod region. With a convenient MBTA commuter rail connection at the airport, Green is also a great option for travelers in the Massachusetts area looking to avoid traffic and construction delays.