Arnold Palmer Regional Airport focuses on busy routes
By Stacey Federoff
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, 11:24 p.m.
Passenger numbers are keeping Westmoreland County Airport Authority officials optimistic despite the recent announcement by Spirit Airlines that the carrier is dropping direct flights to Dallas from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
Jeff Minkovich, operations manager for Latrobe Airline Services, reported to the authority board that even without numbers from Dallas-Forth Worth flights, the Unity airport handled 1,735 more passengers in January 2014 than in January 2013.
A total of 17,760 passengers passed through the terminal in January, compared to 12,418 in January 2013, Minkovich said.
In April, Spirit Airlines will discontinue the flights three times per week to Texas, which started eight months ago. The flights had just 1,458 passengers outbound, compared with daily flights with 3,811 passengers to Orlando and 3,847 to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Executive Director Gabe Monzo said if Spirit does not add other destinations, the airline could increase the frequency of flights to Florida and Myrtle Beach, S.C., which will resume seasonal service three days per week on Thursday.
“I think we still have the capability of rising in other areas,” he said. “Even the cities that we have, increasing capacity in those cities, and we'll see how it goes.”
Minkovich reported that in the first 10 days of February, Spirit had 6,086 passengers, compared with last year's 4,171, despite the airline's switch to smaller planes.
Spirit previously had flown Airbus A320 planes capable of carrying 178 passengers and are now using the Airbus A319, which can hold 145.
“We have aircraft with less capacity, and we're still over by 1,915 (passengers) just for the first 10 days of February, which are pretty outstanding numbers,” Minkovich said.
Board chairman Oland “Dodo” Caterna said even after the Dallas flights end, the airport will continue to thrive, commending workers for their cooperation and customer service.
“We do everything possible,” he said. “People out there (at the ticket counter) do an excellent job; they try to treat people right and try to be congenial with everybody, and they do that so well.”
Monzo shared rankings that placed Arnold Palmer Regional Airport at No. 6 in growth among similar-sized airports in the last year with an almost 89 percent increase, according to a consulting group using federal Department of Transportation passenger numbers.
For all airports in the eastern region, from September 2012 to September 2013, the Unity airport surpassed State College while remaining at No. 29 in passenger numbers since June. Pittsburgh International ranks at No. 8.
“I think we're in the driver's seat with the cities that we have,” Monzo said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
- New Alexandria man charged with assaulting boy in 2009
- Retired postal worker picks $1M winner
- Judge explains why suspect in East Liberty killings was freed
- City approves deal to supply Greater Latrobe with school resource officer
- Hempfield church offers rides to shut-ins for Holy Thursday service
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Community turns out for Franklin Regional students’ return to class
- Bridge work a priority for PennDOT in Westmoreland
- Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied