John Wayne Airport reported increases in the numbers of fliers and flights in February compared with the same month last year, the first time both numbers have increased on a year-to-year basis in about six months.
Recent trends at the airport had the number of fliers growing while the number of flights declined, a possible indication that airlines had been aiming for efficiency—flying fuller plans less often.
JWA served about 709,000 passengers in February, an increase of 5.5% over last February’s 672,000.
Commercial aircraft operations eked up 0.6% to 5,776 takeoffs and landings, compared with 5,743 in February 2014. Year-to-date commercial flights are still about 100 below 2014’s first two months.
The numbers of international flights and passengers each declined about 30% year-over-year, reflecting the current schedule of just airline, Southwest Airlines, flying to Mexico.
The numbers could rebound later this year—Southwest Airlines plans to add Puerto Vallarta service in June, and Alaska Airlines has scheduled two new routes, to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, to begin in October.
The three most active airlines at John Wayne in February were Southwest, with about 315,000 passengers; United Airlines, with about 96,000 fliers; and American Airlines, with about 92,000 customers.
The three airlines accounted for more than 500,000 of the airport’s 709,000 passengers in February.