Rochester, MN (July 30, 2018) – A 2013 study revealed only 12% of passengers were utilizing the Rochester International Airport (RST) while the majority of air travelers chose other airports. A recent study of calendar year 2017 travel data shows the Rochester International Airport has doubled its passenger retention with 24% of travelers now choosing RST.
The increased retention is visible in total passenger numbers. Through June 2018, total passengers have increased 50% over the same period in 2017.
“Travelers in our region are understanding the importance of choosing to Fly Local” said John Reed, RST’s executive director. “Airlines are beginning to pay attention to the economic strength of our region and the renewed commitment to use RST.”
The air service industry is faced with a major challenge of pilot shortages. Airlines will need to fly fewer flights on larger aircraft. Airport officials review travel data and pitch a business case to an airline to recruit new routes and community support is vital in that recruitment.
There has been success as available flights out of RST have increased. United Airlines established new air service to Chicago O’Hare in June 2017. Delta Air Lines has increased frequency of flights to MSP and Atlanta. American Airlines has increased the size of aircraft on flights to Chicago. Elite Airways recently announced new nonstop service to Phoenix and St. Augustine beginning in October. Travelers are benefitting from the increased competition with average airfare at RST declining 20%.
“We know, based on the travel data, we have a very strong case to recruit service to a major western hub like Dallas or Denver” said John Reed. “The airport cannot recruit that service alone. It takes continued utilization and support from local travelers in our region.”
Rochester International Airport
Rochester International Airport is owned by the City of Rochester and operated by the Rochester Airport Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mayo Clinic. The Rochester International Airport is served daily by United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which collectively offer 13 flights each day to Atlanta, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Elite Airways serves RST with flights to Phoenix and St. Augustine, FL twice weekly per route. Rochester International Airport accommodates approximately 290,000 passengers annually, providing air service to Southeast MN and border regions of Iowa and Wisconsin. Stay connected to RST at FlyRST.com and on Facebook /RochesterAirport and Twitter @flyrst.
Rochester International Airport Media contact:
507-282-2328 ext. 101