Rockford Airport has record breaking March - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford Airport has record breaking March

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New numbers out of Chicago Rockford International Airport indicates more flyers are choosing RFD for their travel needs.

More than 35,000 passengers used the airport in March, making it the busiest month ever recorded. The airport's previous record, from March of 2012, was 33,000 passengers.

New routes with Allegiant Air and Apple Vacations may have helped boost the airport's numbers.

"Having another record breaking March is a great accomplishment for RFD. Our new Allegiant service to Ft. Myers has really helped boost our numbers, and our international destinations through Apple Vacations booked very strong throughout the spring travel season," said RFD Economic Development and Government Affairs Director Mike Dunn.

"The outgoing flight we've been very pleased with. the average has been at least 80 percent full both coming in to Rockford and going out," says airport volunteer Red Bainbridge.

Bainbridge says flight planners carefully tailor routes to fit consumer needs, "They're constantly working on seeing where the passengers are going, and where are their homes are. and this has been, I think, the success of the flight that has had a pretty good idea where people wanted to go."

At the end of February 2013, RFD was nearly 10 percent behind its passenger numbers from 2012 due to decreased capacity from the absence of service to Ft. Myers. With its strong March results RFD is now only 2.3 percent behind its passenger traffic numbers from 2012.
"Coming into March, I was very confident that our passenger numbers would rebound with the addition of Ft. Myers service starting up in mid-February. As this service continues throughout the year, I expect us to gain on and even surpass our passenger numbers from 2012," said Dunn.

And of all the places people want to go, Las Vegas comes in high on the list. Amanda Colborn drove all the way from Madison to catch that evening flight. "It saved me a couple hundred dollars to fly out of Rockford," she says.

While choosing a smaller airport may have its perks, she says RFD lacks flexibility in flight times. 'I wanted to fly out sooner. So if you have really strict dates that you want to go and fly then it might be a problem," says Colborn.

June and John Partington will be sharing the plane to Las Vegas with Amanda. The couple travels often. They say they've noticed a recent increase in passengers, but feel it's still far less busy than using airports like O'Hare or Midway.

"We come from a little town so we're not used to all that Chicago traffic," says June Partington.

RFD takes flights from three airlines, and offers non-stop flight to nine destinations.

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