Stockton airport – Passenger counts up from a year ago

Stockton airport traffic increases – Passenger counts up from a year ago

Passenger traffic at Stockton Metropolitan Airport eased in June from May as Allegiant trimmed its flight schedule, but still more travelers passed through the boarding gate this year than in June 2011.

The airport has seen passenger volume rise each month so far this year, Airport Director Patrick Carreno noted.

“If you look at it for the first six months, we’re doing pretty well this year,” he said.

Indeed, through June, the airport tallied nearly 35,100 passengers this year, a 55 percent jump over the more than 22,600 travelers seen in the first six months of 2011.

In June alone, 4,950 passengers boarded Allegiant flights to Las Vegas, down from the 5,187 recorded in May but well above the 4,661 in June 2011.

Allegiant, a discount, leisure-travel airline, reduced its Stockton service because it was filling 80 percent or slightly more of available space. Overall, the carrier aims to sell 90 percent or better of its seats.

The move seemed to have worked, as planes leaving Stockton in June filled an average of 93 percent of the seats, up from 86 percent in May.

Otherwise, the airport continues to look forward to the start of Allegiant service to Hawaii on Nov. 18 with one flight per week, on Sundays, Carreno said.

Adjustments might need to be made to accommodate additional passengers, because larger planes will be used on the Honolulu flights, particularly if they are scheduled around the same time of a Las Vegas departure.

Still, he was confident the airport, Allegiant and Transportation Security Administration officials could resolve any difficulties. “We shouldn’t have any issues,” he said.

A check of the website Monday showed the airline adding a second weekly Hawaiian flight, on Thursdays, during the Christmas to New Year’s travel period, with fares as low as $179 one way.