Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is doing much better on the passenger count front after significant route and hub cuts in previous years led to a drop in travelers.
Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation is showing a jump in ridership to 8.1 million passengers in 2015. That's an uptick of more than a million butts in seats over 2014, which saw a steep 16 percent decrease in passengers from 2013. That same year, the airport lost its United Airlines hub, extensive (and infamous) renovations began and fares decreased dramatically
. In other words, there were plenty of culprits to explain the digits dropping.
Part of the reason behind the jump is low budget airlines giving riders more options, according to experts. Spirit and JetBlue are attracting passengers seeking a more cost effective way to travel. Combined, the airlines are responsible for 20 destinations and with several others slated to begin soon. Frontier expanded its service to Cleveland in January with routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Portland beginning in April.
Despite the bump, the 8.1 million total is still the lowest number Hopkins has seen with the exception of 2014. Averages were in the mid nine millions back through 2009. Before that, it was all double digits (in millions.) Still, for the beleaguered airport (FAA fines, whistleblowers, de-hubbing, awful signage!) it's a bit of positive news.
(Hat Tip cleveland.com