by Michael Lowrey
As the Albuquerque Journal writes, New Mexico’s largest city is losing air service:
For seven straight years, passenger traffic has fallen at the Albuquerque International Sunport.
It seems 2015 will go in the books as the eighth.
Year-to-date figures through September show that activity at the state’s largest airport is down 4.8 percent compared to last year, setting 2015 up as the facility’s lowest traffic year since at least 1990.
Sunport passenger traffic fell from 6.7 million in 2007 to 4.9 million in 2014, or about 27 percent.
The passenger declines mirror fewer flying opportunities – since 2008, the Sunport has gone from a brief peak of 40 nonstop destinations to 23 and it’s seen the average number of daily departures fall by around 40 percent.
What’s behind this? Mainly Southwest Airlines changing its business model a bit, by building up service in Denver and having fewer geographic restricting on flying out of Dallas Love Field, both at the expense of the Sunport. (We’ll talk about what Southwest is doing again tomorrow someplace closer to home.)
I mention falling traffic at ABQ mainly though as American Airlines offered a flight this past summer from Charlotte to, yes, Albuquerque. Will it be back next summer? Don’t know, and we might not find out for a couple more months, but the general trend in Albuquerque isn’t particularly encouraging.