LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg Regional Airport saw a 25% increase in passengers in just one month, which means they are one step closer to adding another airline.
“9,920 versus 7,811. You can see the extra flight added all those extra seats,” said Andrew La Gala, director of the Lynchburg Regional Airport.
These are numbers the airport has not seen in 25 years.
In September, La Gala said American Airlines, the only provider at the airport, added a seventh departing flight to the schedule, giving customers more options.
“Which basically proved we were underserved. So, the fact that American added those additional seats, the passengers responded in kind and they filled those seats at a 25% clip,” La Gala said.
A month after the changes, the airport’s numbers went up, seeing close to 20,000 passengers flying in and out. That’s an increase that doesn’t surprise frequent flyer Patrick Griffin. He’s one of the reasons the airport is seeing a surge.
“Lynchburg is very convenient for me coming out of Providence, Rhode Island. So, I fly in here a couple times a month, in this past fall, to attend meetings at VMI (Virginia Military Institute),” Griffin said.
Customers like Griffin want to know if the airport’s increase in volume will make room for more competition.
“We’re definitely talking to United to get Dulles service," said La Gala.
La Gala also said that in October, he met with other airlines like Allegiant Air and Spirit.
He said there are possibilities for Spirit to have flights twice a week to popular vacation spots like Florida.
“This is very preliminary very high-level initial discussions,” said La Gala.
Thanks in part to an extensive marketing campaign and positive community response, La Gala said it’s only up from here.
“The more that the surrounding community does use Lynchburg and the more our numbers keep going up, the easier it is for us to look for airlines to service this airport,” La Gala said.
The airport’s November numbers looked good too, according to La Gala. He plans on meeting with United again in the spring and says he’ll be showing them the numbers.