Slipping Domestic Air Traffic Overshadows International Gains

Total air passenger traffic through Houston experienced a slight decline over the year ending in September.

The Houston Airport System handled 50.4 million passengers over the twelve months ending in September 2013. That’s down 0.1% from the previous twelve months. Patrick Jankowski is vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. He says the decline is due to a slip in domestic travel.

“The airlines are cutting back on the domestic flights where they aren’t profitable, and the international flights are picking up where they are more profitable.”

The past year saw Houston airports add nonstop flights to Beijing and Istanbul. Ian Wadsworth is chief commercial officer for the Houston Airport System.

“Typically, when we see a new international flight, it may bring as many as 100,000 passengers a year to Houston, and in that instance, it can contribute over $100 million by the time you take into account all of the multiplier effects throughout the economy.”

Houston airports handled 3.8 million passengers in September, up 2% from September of last year.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...