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Airport saw growth in 2013

Michael Keating

Airport officials say they're seeing signs that things are moving in the right direction.  CVG reports the number of passengers was up about 3 percent and its cargo traffic grew about 9 percent, comparing 2013 to 2012.

Here's the statement from CVG:

Local origin and destination (O&D) passengers using Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) yielded an increase for nine out of twelve months during 2013. Local passengers for the month of December improved 13% as compared to 2012. This is the largest year-over-year monthly improvement since December 2009. Overall, CVG finished 2013 with 2.8% increase in local passengers compared to 2012. Over 2.1 million passengers originated travel from CVG. Year-end results are a key indicator of increasingly positive momentum for the region’s largest commercial airport. In total, the 2.8% YOY local passenger growth is a result of more than 59,000 new passengers. The arrival of Frontier Airlines, Ultimate Air Shuttle, expansion of US Air and improved schedules from Delta that focused on local passengers drove the improvement. Charter traffic was up significantly as a result of enhanced leisure travel options provided by Vacation Express. “All of the passenger, cargo and revenue metrics are moving in the right direction and showing a very positive story of reinvention at CVG,” said James Huff, chairman of the Kenton County Airport Board. “We have invested in serving the local traveling public and those investments are paying off,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer of CVG. “We’ve placed an emphasis on diversifying our carriers and our routes and it has made our airport very appealing to the region’s travelers. The airport’s long-term success is directly connected to growing our local passenger base.” In 2012, CVG made an investment in the remodeling of Concourse A. After being in operation for the duration of 2013, the carriers in Concourse A experienced a 12% growth in YOY O&D passengers. CVG has also experienced growth in its cargo traffic. Buoyed by DHL’s growing presence at the airport, cargo increased approximately 9% year-over-year. Based on a review of the top 20 U.S. Airports ranked by total cargo tonnage through Airports Council International (ACI), CVG has the largest growth rate with a 9% improvement for 12 months ending November 2013. CVG currently ranks at the 10th largest airport for the U.S. for total tonnage. “The increase in cargo helps CVG keep its landing fees stable, which is attractive to prospective carriers” said McGraw. “As a result of prudent financial planning, a large portion of debt will be retired in March 2014. This has allowed us to reduce landing fees by approximately 30% in 2014 and 2015 further improving CVG’s ability to recruit new carriers to CVG.” CVG continues to be the premier airport in the tri-state region, offering more than 170 peak day departures to 47 non-stop cities – more than any other airport in the region – and the only airport in the three states with direct service to Europe. Allegiant launches nonstop service on Feb. 12 to Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB) and on Feb. 14 to Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda Airport (PGD). “One of the most powerful reasons we are growing is because of the outstanding customer service passengers receive at CVG,” she said. “The CVG community recognizes it is serving its family, friends and neighbors on a daily basis and you can count on our employees to turn on the Midwestern charm that has led our airport to be named Best Regional Airport in North America three straight years.”