DFW Airport passenger traffic up 2.9%

Posted Thursday, Apr. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Airlines carried more passengers through Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in February, and the airport is on track to serve more than 60 million passengers for only the second fiscal year in its history, airport board members were told Thursday.

The airport served 4.3 million passengers in February, up 2.9 percent from the same month last year, Luis Perez, vice president of air service development, told the board at its monthly meeting Thursday. The gain came despite bad weather nationwide that led to hundreds of cancellations.

With strong passenger figures and increased revenues from new concessionaires and parking services, the airport will probably reduce landing fees for airlines for the remainder of its fiscal year. Even though its largest tenant, American Airlines, has been in bankruptcy since November 2011, the airport has benefited from the improving economy and the addition of service from carriers including JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines.

American, which operates 84 percent of the flights out of DFW, served 3.6 million passengers there in February, up 1.8 percent. Low-cost carriers including rapidly expanding Spirit grew 23.6 percent over February 2012 to 331,395 passengers. On Thursday, Spirit added service to Philadelphia and Minneapolis. The carrier serves 21 destinations out of DFW with plans to add four more by June.

International passenger numbers also increased, by 8.5 percent to 448,281, as American added flights to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Costa Rica; and Belize. Lufthansa, which flies daily to Frankfurt, Germany, reported traffic up 31 percent, Perez said.

Cargo traffic, however, dropped 10.1 percent from February 2012, with international cargo down 17.7 percent as the Chinese New Year came later this year.

The board also received an update on its search to replace CEO Jeff Fegan, who will retire in September. The search firm hired by the airport has met with board members and the staff to discuss what qualifications the next executive should have and expects to conduct first-round interviews in late May, board member Lillie Biggins said.

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631

Twitter: @Sky_Talk

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