New passenger counts jumped by nearly 700,000 between April 2014 to April 2015 at five of the state’s largest airports. According to a new report from CBRE, Dallas Love Field (DAL) is leading the way, with a post-Wright Amendment boom. This past April saw a 56 percent increase over the previous year, with 417,000 new travelers.
At DAL, Southwest dominates the field. The region is also benefitting from new carriers, such as Virgin, which arrived at Love Field the day the Wright Amendment expired last October and has carried 68,782 passengers through April 2015.
Even with the big growth at Love, DFW International Airport also saw a 59,000 gain in passengers. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is taking off, too, CBRE reports. AUS ranks as one of the top three fastest-growing airports in the nation, with new nonstop services added by six carriers, including Southwest, which recently launched direct flights to Orange County and St. Louis.
In Houston, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is adding domestic service from Spirit Airlines and just added flights between Houston and Taiwan on EVA Air (with its hard-to-miss Hello Kitty-themed Boeing 777-300ER). IAH also saw Interjet launch its nonstop air service between Houston and Mexico in May.
As the competition heats up, carriers are shuffling their routes, which explains why ridership at Houston Hobby (HOU) is down slightly since JetBlue and Southwest reduced capacity, CBRE reports.