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Passenger traffic slides again at Bob Hope

Fuel prices and a stagnant economy are blamed for a reduction in airline travel.

July 08, 2011|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. (File photo)
Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. (File photo)

Airline passenger traffic at Bob Hope Airport dropped by 6% in May compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures — marking the third consecutive monthly drop that has pushed revenue below projections.

The airport reported drops of 5% in March and 5.2% in April.

Ontario Airport reported a similar passenger decrease for May at 5.8%.

There were 360,339 passengers flying into and out of the Bob Hope Airport in May, down from 383,481 passengers the same period last year, according to a report to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

The passenger drop came even as the number of available seats dropped by 6.5 % in May as airlines continue to eliminate flights to keep planes closer to seat capacity, according to the report.

The result: occupancy rates on planes rose just 0.5% in May to 68.4%.

Airport spokesman Victor Gill attributed the declines to high fuel prices and a flat economy.

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Some airlines are also able to increase their occupancy rates more easily than others. US Airways, for example, doesn’t have many flights at Bob Hope Airport compared to other airlines and was able to raise its occupancy by 15% in May, Gill said.

Southwest, the largest carrier in Burbank, saw occupancy rates climb 1.1%, according to the report.

“It tells you they are still being much more efficient in the flights they schedule,” Gill said.

As of May, the airfield has seen roughly 1.73 million flights for the year, down from about 1.8 million during to the same time period in 2010.

Other regional airports saw dips in their passenger numbers. In Orange County, John Wayne Airport saw a 0.6% decrease in May and Ontario Airport reported a 5.8% drop. However, there was a 10.5% jump in passengers at Los Angeles International Airport in May.
 
 

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