Skybus Airlines’ demise cited as main reasonTuesday, October 28, 2008 4:00 PM
Passenger numbers at Port Columbus in September dropped by nearly a quarter last month compared with a year earlier, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority said at its monthly board meeting at the airport today. During the month, 502,027 passengers passed through the airport, a 23.5 percent drop from the 656,540 passengers in September 2007.
Port Columbus airfares rise, but not by too much
Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:11 AM
By Marla Matzer Rose
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
The average airfare at Port Columbus increased by 9 percent in the second quarter of 2008 compared with a year ago, but the cost to fly remained lower than both the national average and the fares at other major Ohio airports.
Port Columbus posted an average fare for the April-to-June period of $326.19, up from $298.98 a year ago and $318.61 in the first three months of this year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The data is encouraging as it comes from the period immediately after the demise of low-fare carrier Skybus Airlines at Port Columbus, and during a time of historically high fuel prices. It shows fares in Columbus did not immediately spike heading into the summer travel season.
Airport officials were happy to see continued evidence of low fares, which has been a marketing point for them in recent years, Port Columbus spokeswoman Angie Tabor said.
“It’s reassuring to see that Port Columbus remains below the national average, and lower than other Ohio airports, in its fares,” Tabor said. “With next Thursday’s arrival of (low-cost carrier) AirTran, we certainly hope to see that trend continue.”
As it has been for many quarters, Cincinnati remained the highest-fare airport in the country. Among major Ohio airports, only the much smaller Akron/Canton airport had a lower average fare, at $291.62.
The single biggest factor was the now-defunct Skybus Airlines, which carried 88,090 passengers in September of last year. Airport officials also cited the ailing U.S. economy and the “state of (the) aviation industry” as factors in the downturn. Meanwhile, cargo shipments at Rickenbacker International Airport were down 20 percent, as AirNet, Kalitta Air and others sharply reduced operations.