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Big Finish for Houston Passenger Count

Houston Airport System
January 20, 2010

Houston Airport System
Strong December numbers helped the yearly passenger count at both IAH and HOU
Strong passenger numbers from the month of December have the Houston Airport System (HAS) closing out a difficult year on a very positive note.

The final tally at both George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU) Airports, represent a strong monthly increase over the December passenger counts registered from 2008.

At IAH, the December total count from 2009 increased by 68,900 passengers when compared to the same total in 2008 (3,483,085 and 3,414,185 respectively)and that represents a two-percent increase when comparing month-to-month numbers.

Even more impressive news is found in the area of international travel at IAH, as the December '09 passenger numbers jumped a full 8.2 percent over their '08 counterparts (715,451 in '09 and 661,462 in '08).

HAS leaders view this as a very promising sign, given the fact that overall, 2009 was a difficult year for the entire air travel industry, with both George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby Airports posting passenger reductions for the first eight months of the year.

But by the fourth-quarter of 2009, the tide had begun to turn and the passenger totals began to equal those from the prior year, and by the time the October numbers were being tallied, it was clear that positive monthly gains were finally on the way.

At HOU for example, the December passenger total in '09 was 2.6 percent higher than the year before, with 716,009 people passing through the gates, as compared to 697,785 in '08.

So while the final numbers from 2009 reflect a definitive downturn in the overall industry: (IAH Domestic Travel: - 4.6 percent; IAH International Travel: - 4.1 percent & HOU Domestic Travel: - 3.2 percent), there is little doubt that both commercial airports in Houston have turned a corner.

When compared to other airports in large markets across the country, IAH and HOU are undoubtedly performing extremely well in minimizing the effects of the economic downturn...and with 2009 coming to a close on four consecutive months of growth in the overall passenger count, there is definitely reason to be hopeful about the
new year.

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