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Year-end Statistics Show Key Growth

January 30, 2012

© Houston Airport System
New flights were a common sight in 2011, both for cargo operators and commercial passengers.
The Houston Airport System finished 2011 by recording some impressive numbers in several key areas, including passenger totals at William P. Hobby Airport and cargo totals at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Both airport facilities also enjoyed launches of several new non-stop flights to a variety of domestic and international destinations.

“We celebrated the arrival of new airlines and new service in 2011,” says Houston Airport System’s chief commercial officer, Ian Wadsworth. “Passengers in Houston now have even more flight options as a result of the success we enjoyed in 2011, and that statement holds true whether you’re talking about travelling to another state or another continent.”

Passenger growth at Hobby Airport has been especially impressive over the past two years. Since the end of 2009, passenger totals at Hobby Airport have increased by 15.8 percent, meaning that an additional 1.3 million passengers passed through the gates in 2011. With a final annual passenger count of 9,843,302 in place, William P. Hobby Airport could very well close out 2012 by hitting the ten-million passenger mark for the first time in its history.

“Everything at Hobby Airport is moving in a positive direction,” says Perry J. Miller, general manager of Hobby Airport. “We’re in the midst of a renovation project that’s improving the overall customer experience and changes within the aviation industry are also proving to be beneficial for Houston passengers.”

Miller says the biggest example of that industry change is Southwest Airlines’ purchase of AirTran Airways. Since the acquisition, Southwest Airlines has launched new non-stop service to destinations in South Carolina and New Jersey and announced plans to begin non-stop service to Atlanta, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham and Seattle in 2012. In addition to the new service from Southwest, Hobby Airport will also receive good news from Delta Airlines, as they begin to operate four daily flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Air cargo totals at Bush Intercontinental Airport are another bright spot within the latest statistical data. In 2011, the total amount of air freight processed at Bush Airport increased by 6.1 percent over the totals recorded in 2010. Last year’s annual total, 391,882 tons, was topped before December flight operations even began.

Bush Airport finished 2011 by handling a total of 454,910 tons of air cargo, catching the attention of several new and existing cargo airlines.

Two new airlines began cargo operations at Bush Intercontinental Airport in 2011, Lufthansa Cargo and Qatar Airways Cargo. In addition to the new airlines, existing carrier Saudi Airlines Cargo and Cargolux also expanded their Houston operations. 
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