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Published: Saturday, 7/27/2013

Passenger traffic up recently at Toledo airport after dropping to all-time low a year ago

BLADE STAFF

Passenger traffic rose for the fourth straight month at Toledo Express Airport in June, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority announced.

Travel was up 17.48 percent compared with June 2012 at the local airport, and rose 3.59 percent for the first six months of the year compared with the first half of 2012.

More than half the 14,841 passengers who arrived or departed from Toledo Express flew Allegiant Airlines, which carried 8,075 local passengers to or from three airports in Florida.

Allegiant's introduction of seasonal service between Toledo and Punta Gorda/Fort Myers, Fla., in February has accounted for much of the increase. DirectAir had flown similar flights between Toledo and Punta Gorda until early last year, when it abruptly ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy.

"We are delighted to welcome more travelers to Toledo Express Airport," port President Paul Toth said. "The combination of competitively priced airfares to vacation destinations on Allegiant, hub connectivity through Chicago on American Eagle, and an improving economy makes TOL a great alternative when booking travel from northwest Ohio."

Should the traffic increase continue for the rest of the year, it would mark the first passenger traffic growth year at Toledo Express since 2004, when the local airport entered a protracted tailspin as major airlines reduced flights in response to skyrocketing fuel prices and, later, declining air travel during the United States' economic recession.



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