Airline Passenger Traffic at LYH Finishes 2019 Strong December Boardings Highest on Record
February 08, 2020
LYNCHBURG, February 6, 2020 ─ Airline passenger traffic at Lynchburg Regional Airport posted a banner year in 2019, with the airport topping 185,000 total passengers for the first time in 10 years. The month of December finished the year particularly strong with a remarkable 34.2% increase compared to the same month last year, while setting a new record for the highest December passenger count in the history of the airport.
Overall, the number of inbound and outbound passengers ended the year with 12.2 percent more air travelers coming through LYH than in 2018. The total of 185,031 passengers represents nearly double the number handled by the airport compared to the airport’s low point in the aftermath of the events of September 11th.
“Without a doubt, 2019 was a year that saw continued passenger growth at Lynchburg Regional Airport, primarily as a result of increased flights, more airline seats and upgraded regional jets with dual-class service.” said Airport Director Andrew LaGala, A.A.E. “And with continued competitive airfares throughout the year, combined with very aggressive marketing and advertising, Lynchburg Regional Airport is being recognized more than ever as the airport of choice for savings and convenience by air travelers throughout our region.”
For the year, available airline seats were up by 7% on a 2.2% increase in flights, reflecting the gradual upgrading of regional jet service from 50-seat regional jets to the larger 65-seat CRJ-700 model. Accelerating that trend, December alone represented a 34.7% jump in available seats with totals expected to be continuing in 2020.
American Airlines’ spring schedule at LYH will feature upgraded service with more of the even larger, 76-seat CRJ-900 aircraft scheduled in March. In all, a total of two CRJ-900s and two 65-seat CRJ-700s will be offered, rounded out with 50- and 44-seat Embraer Regional Jets.
In other aviation activity at Lynchburg Regional Airport, total aircraft operations in 2019 were up 1.8 percent over 2018 to 94,862 take-offs and landings. Commercial airline operations increased by 2.2% for the year, with December alone increasing by 17.6%.
With more airline passenger traffic, the airport now projects total airport operating revenue in FY 2020 to increase by 8.9% to a record $3,064,983. Much of the increase can be traced to landing fee revenue increasing by 13.6% with terminal revenues including airport parking fees and rental car concession revenue jumping by 5.4%. With airport operating expenses in line with budget, the airport now projects a FY 2020 operating surplus of $186,892.