In its report, Fitch cited months of shrinking passenger figures at Bob Hope, which has impacted important parking revenues, as contributing to a fragile financial environment for the airfield.
American Airlines saw its monthly passenger number increase 7.6% from 26,999 in 2010 to 29,068. Last month, though, American announced it was cutting one daily round-trip flight to Dallas-Fort Worth as it sought to reduce the number of empty seats on its planes companywide.
Southwest Airlines, the airfield’s largest carrier, saw its passenger count tumble from 255,894 in October 2010 to 233,464 this year. The airline’s occupancy rate also suffered, dropping to 62%, down from 68% the same period last year, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.
Southwest’s dominance at Bob Hope Airport probably factored into the airfield’s overall occupancy rate, which also dropped, from 71% in October 2010 to 67% this year.
For the period covering January through October, 3.58 million passengers have traveled through Bob Hope Airport, a 3.7% decrease from the 3.72 million users during the same period last year.
Passenger figures at other regional airports varied greatly. Ontario Airport reported a 10.3% plummet, while John Wayne Airport saw its number edge down 0.8%. Los Angeles International Airport continued its passenger growth with a 2.7% jump.
-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News