BANGOR — Bangor International Airport saw its passenger traffic increase 19 percent for the month of October compared with the same month last year.
It’s the second consecutive month that numbers have been up at BIA, and the statistics mirror a slowly recovering industry nationwide, officials said.
Recent industry reports showed US Airways traffic was up 6.9 percent and Delta increased 8.6 percent in October nationwide. Allegiant reported a 20 percent bump in traffic systemwide. All three airlines also increased capacity at BIA in October.
“We are pleased that our capacity increase by the airlines proved to be the right move for them and a benefit to our passengers,” Airport Director Rebecca Hupp said. “Our passenger increases show that demand at Bangor International is strong and that we can support increased service.”
Hupp said the airport continually works with all airlines to add more capacity on existing routes and new routes. Recently, BIA was awarded a $500,000 federal grant to entice United Airlines to add service to one of its major hubs, Washington, D.C., or Chicago. Under provisions in the award, the grant can be used to reduce an airline’s risk in entering a new market and also can be used for marketing and advertising to support the service.
“This grant does not mean a commitment from United, but it provides some additional incentives,” Hupp said.
BIA last received a grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program in 2005. That money was used to promote the introduction of Allegiant’s service to Sanford, Fla., near Orlando. Since that time, Allegiant has expanded its service to St. Petersburg, Fla., and has added flights.
Passenger statistics peaked at BIA in 2005 before dropping steadily through 2008. Since early 2009, the numbers have rebounded despite the loss of Continental service in July 2009.
Currently, Bangor has daily nonstop flights to Detroit and New York on Delta and to New York and Philadelphia on US Airways. There are also Saturday nonstop flights to Washington on US Airways. Service is provide