DBIA: 2018 Ends High While A Drop Is Expected For 2019

By on February 14, 2019 in WNDB News

Daytona Beach, FL – 2018 ends on a high note as Daytona Beach International Airport continues a 21-year streak in passenger traffic increase while the airport expects a drop this year.

60,194 passengers flew out of the county-operated airport that month, compared to the 56,038 the year prior.

That marks a total increase of 7.4% for DBIA.

For 12 months ending on December 31st, 2018, total passenger traffic increased 5.9%, with 720,825 passengers traveling through the airport last year, compared to the 763,538 this year.

Officials at the airport contribute those increases to both American and Delta, after both airlines increased capacity and service at the airport.

However, Business & Development Director Jay Cassens says that the increase could soon come to a halt.

“Heading into 2019 we do expect to be slightly down because of the loss of JetBlue,” said Cassens.

JetBlue was a major player in the Daytona Beach market according to Cassens, with a 12% market share while it operated out of DBIA.

The airline pulled out of Daytona last October, following a spike in fuel prices and a system-wide reallocation strategy paired with a drop in revenue.

This decrease is still expected even though Daytona Beach added two new airlines, with Silver Airways beginning service to Fort Lauderdale and Sunwing Airlines starting a Daytona to Toronto service. Both airlines started last month.

That Daytona Beach to New York route however will not go untouched. American Airlines announced in December that they would begin a seasonal nonstop service to La Guardia starting in May.

“That will offset some of the losses, but we still expect to be down,” said Cassens.

However, if La Guardia does well, residents could soon expect a nonstop service to Texas.

According to Cassens, if American Airlines decides to make Daytona to La Guardia a year-round service, they would contemplate a brand new route from Daytona Beach to Dallas, another major American Airlines hub.

“I absolutely think that would be the next logical step for them,” Cassens said.

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