Tulsa Airport traffic fell 6 percent last month
BY D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Monday, May 16, 2011
High fuel prices and steadily increasing air fares are causing airline passenger traffic to tumble at Tulsa International Airport, executives said Monday.
In April, 211,058 passengers boarded or deplaned commercial aircraft at Tulsa International, a 6.68 percent decrease compared with April 2010, and the largest year-over-year drop in passenger traffic since February’s snow storms caused a 10.33 percent decrease in passenger traffic.
“After looking at our number of seats and fares, we think the biggest portion of this drop in traffic is fare-driven,” said Alexis Higgins, deputy airports director of marketing.
“The average one-way fare at Tulsa International Airport in the first three months of 2011 was $186, the highest it has been since 2005 when the average one-way fare was $148. In April, we had 5,988 seats a day, 184 more seats per day than a year ago.”
Higgins said fares have risen in response to soaring jet fuel prices.
“We just met with the airlines and they said their fuel costs exceeded $1 billion - each one of them” compared with the same period of 2010, Higgins said.
Last month in a conference call with industry analysts and members of the media, American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey said fuel prices increased 24 percent in the first quarter, to an average price of $2.76 a gallon, compared with 2010’s first quarter.
“We anticipate we will spend $2.1 billion more for fuel in 2011 than we did in 2010,” Arpey said.
In this Feb. 21 file photo, Tulsa International Airport passengers in terminal. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World File