Daytona Beach, FL – Volusia’s county-run airport reports another month of growing passenger numbers as one of their core carriers decides to extend a new route for at least a few more months.
Passenger traffic at Daytona Beach International Airport increased 1.4% for January 2019 in comparison with the same month last year, according to a new report. That’s the 12th consecutive month DBIA’s reported growth in that category.
55,127 passengers flew to and from the World’s Most Famous Beach that month compared to 54,345 from January 2018.
“The main reason really was because of American [Airlines] and Delta [Air Lines] both increasing service,” said Jay Cassens, DBIA Business and Development Director. “American was the big driver of that. They’ve continued to grow significantly over the last year and a half.”
Cassens also called that increase “outstanding” considering that JetBlue ended their three-year run of service from Daytona Beach to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 7th.
He estimated that JetBlue ferried roughly 90,000 passengers a year with their service from Daytona.
Airport Director Rick Karl noted that capacity continues to grow on American’s and Delta’s planes, which he calls the “driving factor” behind the growth.
“The commencement of new service on Silver Airways in mid-January and Sunwing Airlines the last week of January also contributed,” Karl added.
Silver Airways began service to Fort Lauderdale on their Daytona Tortugas branded plane on January 16th. Sunwing Airlines began nonstop service to Toronto on January 28th.
A month before that, American announced that they’re adding a new nonstop flight from Daytona Beach to NYC’s LaGuardia Airport, hoping to pick up some of the customers who normally went with JetBlue.
That service – slated to begin in May – was initially expected to run just on weekends until the end of the summer, but Cassens confirms that American is now planning to go until at least the end of November due in part to their satisfaction over how its route to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is performing.
DBIA officials hope American will offer the Daytona-to-LaGuardia service on at least one weekday in the near future, if not daily.
For the 12 months ending on January 31st, total passenger traffic at DBIA increased over 6%. 764,320 traveled through the airport last year compared to the 720,485 that did so the year prior.
Karl expects the traffic levels to eventually drop – especially since Silver uses the much smaller Saab 340B plane compared to the Airbus A320’s run by JetBlue – but he still predicts a strong year for the airport.
“[It] will still be one of our strongest years in the last two decades,” Karl added. “Commercial flights and destinations served will both hit a 20-year high in 2019.”