SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A new flight to Destin, Florida, larger planes and a couple of billboards have helped push more passengers to the Shreveport Regional Airport this summer.
Airport officials say this has been their busiest summer since 2000.
“We’ve increased the exposure and the methods that we are getting that message out — and we certainly think the numbers this year are reflecting people may be thinking twice about flying from another airport or calculating the true total cost of flying from a different airport other than Shreveport,” said Public Relations Manager Mark Crawford.
According to the airport, May through August brought over 250,000 people to the airport which was an increase of 11 percent compared to last year’s numbers.
The new Destin nonstop flight the airport added this year was very popular with travelers.
“Almost 8,000 people used that flight this year, and it did so well that Allegiant has already told us that they are bringing it back next year,” Crawford said. “We’re just awaiting the news of when that flight will start again next year.”
Another thing that helped increase flyers was adding a new third weekly flight to the Orlando-Sanford Airport which saw over 9,400 flyers.
For flyers like Dalys Cordero, she says flying out of Shreveport is more convenient for her.
“It’s closer,” she said. “I don’t have to drive all the way (to Dallas) even if it’s a little bit more expensive.”
Melissa Fyer says she does fly out of Shreveport but occasionally will still make the drive to Dallas.
“Sometimes I do Dallas just because it is hard to get into Shreveport because I fly standby,” she said. “But whenever I can get on the flight here it’s certainly a lot easier than a three-hour trip.”
Crawford says they speak to airlines quarterly about adding new destinations and more stops in and out of Shreveport. He says they do speak to Southwest as well, but says they aren’t ready to come here just yet.
“We always get the question of when is Southwest coming,” he said. “We meet with them once a year, (and) they’re always very nice. They’re not ready to come to Shreveport yet, but hopefully one day in the next couple of years they may change their mind and be ready to start service here.”
Crawford says they are working to see if they can add an additional flight to Destin next year, and says they have plans to run their Fly Shreveport First campaign again as well.