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New Cargo Flights Gives STL Major Boost in Q3 Activity

Posted on October 31, 2019 in Media Releases

Passenger Growth Streak Also Extends to 49 straight months in Latest Report

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) has recorded 49 straight months of passenger growth through the September, 2019. Year-to-date, STL has served 11,939,031 total passengers versus 11,666,148 passengers last year, which is a 2.3 percent increase.

September passenger activity results, rounding out the third quarter of 2019, topped out at 1,307,068 passengers versus 1,261,240 passengers in 2018, for a 3.4 percent increase. September was the second highest increase for enplaning passengers at 3.6 percent, next to only February at 4.6 percent.

Cargo activity saw a major boost in September with cargo departures increasing 9.2 percent, with 130 cargo departures versus 119 in 2018. That growth is attributed to a new daily flight for Amazon operated by any one of three cargo airlines: Atlas Air, ABX or Air Transport International.  Total freight of 12,620,363 lbs. for September 2019 was 6.5 percent more than a year ago. Total cargo (mail and freight) increased 6.1 percent in September.

“The addition of new daily cargo activity is extremely encouraging and we’ll see even greater results through the end of the year because Amazon boosted activity to two daily flights at STL earlier this month,” said STL Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Increasing cargo activity and revenue has been a strategic focus for the Airport for the last several years.”

Another strong indicator for the Airport is the continued increase of connecting passengers. Through September, connecting enplanements has increased more than four percent, or nearly 1.4 million passengers. Connecting traffic currently accounts for 23.5 percent of all enplanements this year. 

STL airlines are averaging approximately 260 daily departures in 2019. Later this year, Cape Air will see the return of up to three daily flights from STL and Quincy, IL (UIN).  In 2020, Southwest has just announced strong growth in its spring schedules (March – May) that could add up to 43 additional weekly flights versus 2018. Those additional flights are spread across their current 48 non-stop markets from St. Louis.