Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – As the airline industry tried to adjust in the past decade, it left regional airports like the Fort Wayne International Airport to regulate their business models.
Over 500,000 passengers per year move through the terminals at the FWA complex providing an economic boost of over $300 million to the region.
Officials would like to add more flights because total passengers are currently up about 1.5 percent from last year, which is better than most competitors.
While a long term master plan is in place for the future, the immediate goal is to maintain current service in a difficult airline environment.
“Our master plan shows growth, but it has trigger points in it,” Executive Director of Airports Scott Hinderman said. “We are not in a hurry to expand any one thing today.”
For a leisure market, the sights are clearly on returning service to Las Vegas.
Airport officials also work closely with major area companies like Vera Bradley and Sweetwater Sound. The more major cities served the more valuable the airline is to businesses.
The current service includes non-stop service to nine cities and over 300 within 1 stop. Adding flights to major business arteries like Philly, New York and Denver is a definite goal, but the recent consolidation in the industry has made that obstacle even harder to overcome.
Since most airlines aren't adding flights, if the FWA wants to add flights, it will come at the expense of other nearby airports like the ones in Dayton or Toledo.
“The airline industry is not adding any new aircraft,” Vice President of Air Service Development Dave Young said. “Any additional flights that we may receive will come at the expense of say of Toledo or Indianapolis. They will have to pull out a flight out of those markets in order to give us the service.”
The airport must show airlines the demand exists before any flights are added. This is what happened with a new Allegiant flight to Punta Gorda, which starts in 2 weeks.
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