SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - If you’ve flown out of Shreveport Regional Airport lately, you aren’t alone.
Airport officials say passenger growth is booming and the airlines are taking notice.
March marked the 12th consecutive month of increased passenger activity at Shreveport Regional.
And it was the busiest March in 10 years with 52,622 passengers flying in and out of the airport.
That’s a 6% increase, or 2,947 additional passengers, from March 2018.
Passenger numbers are up year-to-date also.
During the first three months of this year, 140,139 passengers traveled through Shreveport Regional, which is an increase of 6%, or 7,687 passengers, when compared to the same time period last year.
Year-end totals for 2018 were up, too. A total of 629,309 passengers used Shreveport Regional in 2018, which is an 11% increase, or 64,526 additional passengers, when compared with 2017.
Shreveport Airport Authority spokesman Mark Crawford said seats have been added to the market.
“Anytime we can add more seats, that helps more people get out of Shreveport and get into Shreveport,” Crawford said.
As airlines continue to see additional demand, he predicted, fares will be lower and airlines will continue expanding service.
“Overall, comparing 2018 to 2019, you’ll see almost 60,000 more seats this year compared to the same time in 2018."
That’s not just good news for passengers but also for the airport and the entire region.
“We get economic development requests from all over the country and the world," Crawford said. “One of the first questions the city typically gets is what type of air service is available out of Shreveport. The more seats and airlines we can offer, that’s better for Shreveport.”
Shreveport resident Willie Douglas III said he flies between Indianapolis and his hometown four to five times a year.
He’s not surprised to hear that more people are flying out of Shreveport Regional.
“I see more activity, especially the weekends. Sometimes if I fly standby, I have to be careful, especially Saturday, it is packed in here."
Passengers like Douglas hope to see the airport keep up that growth.
“Keep up the good work, Shreveport. Let’s try to get Southwest here," Douglas suggested. “If we get them, it would really boom here.”
If you’ve traveled recently out of Shreveport Regional, you’ve also noticed a new consolidated security checkpoint. It opened in December to make things faster for passengers.
Shreveport Regional has more than 40 arriving and departing flights scheduled daily among the carriers at the airport, according to FlyShreveportFirst.com.
And along with the flights to seven direct destinations, travelers from Shreveport can connect to more than 250 other domestic and international destinations through one-stop service at Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas or Orlando.