Miami Airport Traffic Dwindles From January Peak
By Shannon Pettypiece
Miami International Airport finished 2003 with fewer passengers and flights than it began the year with, but airport business here and nationwide appears to be stabilizing.
Locally, Miami International finished with 2% fewer flights in December than last January, according to a report released Tuesday by OAG, which reports US and global flight schedules. Still, airport traffic, both domestic and international, increased 3%.
According to Miami International’s internal traffic report, which compared flight levels from November 2002 to November 2003, total commercial flights were down 3.8%, with major air carrier flights down 1.1% and commuter flights or air taxis down 15.8%.
But Miami International’s total passengers were down only 1% in November compared to the same month in 2002. International passengers fell by 2.3% and domestic travel increased by almost 1%, according to Miami International figures.
According to research firm OAG, the number of flights and passengers out of Miami International peaked in January 2003 and hit a low in September, with significant increases during the later summer months compared to the early summer months.
The Iraqi War and two-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks when some flights were cut had an impact on most US airports, said OAG spokeswoman Dana Kessler.
Miami International saw a 7% drop in flights and passengers between August and September. During the first full month of the war in Iraq, flights fell 2% and passengers fell 3%.
Cities that had the biggest increase in air traffic were New York and Chicago, in part because they host more low-budget airlines, which account for 14% of total flights nationwide, according to the report.
The OAG report only looks at scheduled flights from January to Dec. 21, 2003, and does not account for cancellations.