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Over the month of August passenger numbers for the Springfield Branson National Airport went up by 13 percent when compared to August of 2008. This is the fourth consecutive month in 2009 where there has been growth in numbers compared to last year. KSMU’s Adam Hammons has more.
While the Springfield Branson National Airport has seen an improvement in ticket sales over the past few months, other airports around the region have actually seen decreases.
Kent Boyd, the spokesman for the Springfield Branson National Airport, gave different reasons for the increase. These include the new terminal and the publicity surrounding it.
Boyd says even though ticket sales are going up, the airport’s passenger numbers still have a long way to go.
“The passenger numbers being upward for consecutive months is good news, but when we put things in perspective we realize our recovery is ongoing.”
Boyd went on to say that even though the passenger numbers for August 2009 are up from the same time last year, they’re still significantly less than they were in August of 2007.
Even with the economy gradually healing from the recession, unemployment numbers are still going up. Boyd explains why this may prolong the recovery for the airline industry.
“One of the bed-rock principles of air travel is that employment is really the foundation of air travel. The better employment is, generally the better air travel numbers are. So as long as we continue to see unemployment going up as it continues to do, I think the outlook for airports and airlines is going to be kind of gloomy.”
According to Boyd, the world-wide industry of air travel expects to lose close to 11 billion dollars in the next financial quarter.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.