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SWANTON, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Toledo Express Airport (TOL) ended 2013 with an 11 percent increase in overall passenger traffic when compared to 2012. A total of 159,295 passengers made the choice to fly through TOL in 2013, which helped drive the airport's first year-over-year increase since 2004.
Port Authority reports for December 2013 show that overall passenger traffic at TOL was up 44.82 percent over the same month in 2012. December marked the airport's ninth month of increased passenger traffic in 2013.
"The growing support of local businesses and leisure travelers has helped the airport see its first increase in year-end passenger traffic since 2004," said Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. "There are many air service options in our region, and we commend the community for flying from Toledo Express whenever possible. Travelers are finding that hub connectivity to Chicago via American Eagle provides the opportunity to connect nearly anywhere in the world from TOL, while Allegiant's flights provide area residents non-stop access to low cost vacation destinations."
Finishing the year off strong, all carriers at Toledo Express Airport showed increased passenger traffic for the month of December:
-Allegiant carried 9,031 total passengers in December, a 73.41 percent increase over the same month in 2012.
-American Airlines, whose passenger totals were up 24.32 percent in December, carried 7,499 passengers between TOL and Chicago, with connections to more than 100 cities worldwide.
Toth says they're making a pitch to American Airlines on the heels of the mega-merger with U.S. Airways to explore the possibility of an additional American route coming to Toledo Express. Since the current Toledo-to-Chicago service increased, he says that could help convince American to connect the Glass City to another major airline hub.
"American and U.S. Air have merged. They're now one airline. We think there's good opportunity for us to get an East Coast hub - either Philadelphia or Charlotte. And the best way to encourage that is people to use the service," explained Toth.
According to Toth, the Port Authority has offered a $750,000 Small Community Air Service grant to American, which could be used to offset the start-up cost for a new route.