Airport rides out turbulence

Grand Junction Regional Airport is on track for another record year.

If 686 people fly in December, the airport will break last year’s record of 211,917 passengers on scheduled commercial flights.

Last December, 19,662 people boarded planes at the airport.

This year, Grand Junction Regional gained an American Eagle flight to Dallas/Fort Worth and lost a Great Lakes flight to Denver and a Lynx/Frontier flight to Denver.

Allegiant’s Grand Junction to Las Vegas flight has had the largest growth this year, going from 12,785 passengers in the first 11 months of 2008 to 22,912 passengers in the first 11 months of 2009. American Eagle picked up 10,127 passengers in the same time period, but the calculation is off because the Dallas flight didn’t serve Grand Junction Regional until April 2008.

U.S. Airways’ flight to Phoenix boarded 67 fewer passengers from January through November 2008 compared to the same months in 2009.

In the same time period, United’s flight to Denver had 592 fewer passengers and Delta’s Salt Lake City flight lost 1,774 passengers.

In order, the most popular flights out of Grand Junction this year connect to Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The airport also has Allegiant flights to Los Angeles as of May, but passenger totals for that destination were not available.

In November, 16,326 people flew on Delta, United, U.S. Airways, American Eagle or Allegiant Vegas flights.

Larger airports at the receiving end of many Grand Junction flights have not been as lucky with their overall passenger volumes.

January through October 2009, passenger totals fell 2.4 percent from the same period last year at Denver International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport’s passenger count dropped 2.5 percent in the same time period.


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