Passenger numbers fall at Bob Hope Airport
But actual count was close to projection, airport officials say.
Travelers outside Terminal B at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Passenger numbers have dropped after the airport's loss of American Airlines. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / April 26, 2011)
The airport handled 309,259 passengers in February, a 1.7% drop from 314,259 passengers during the same period last year, according to a report released Monday to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.
The number was slightly below what was budgeted, said Dan Feger, the airport's executive director.
The fact that the passenger tally was so close to the budgeted projection was surprising because of American's departure in February, Feger said, adding that the unexpected loss of an airline wasn't factored into the budget when it was drafted.
American had accounted for about 7.5% of passenger traffic at Bob Hope Airport.
So far this year, 642,789 passengers have traveled through the Bob Hope Airport since January, a nearly 2% drop from the 655,610 passengers handled during the same period in 2011.
Parking revenues declined by about 2.9% to roughly $1.4 million in February.
While that was a smaller decline than the 6% drops seen in December and January, officials said the gain was all but erased when factoring out the extra day in February due to leap year.
Considering American Airlines moved out of the airport on Feb. 9, though, Feger said he was surprised the drop wasn't more severe.
“We will continue to watch the results over the next two months and see what really has shaken out in terms of American Airlines' pull-out,” Feger told the authority.
About 60% of American's passengers transferred to other flights once they reached the airline's hub in Dallas-Fort Worth, Feger said.
“So it's those 60% of passengers that we're curious [about] in terms of how they view the convenience of this airport as a decision-maker compared to having to drive over the hill and go to LAX to make their travel plans,” Feger said.
Passenger figures at other airports in the region varied in February. Ontario International Airport continued to see a slump, with a 4.2% decrease, while the number of passengers at Los Angeles International Airport rose by 8.2%. Passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport was basically unchanged.