The number of passengers boarding flights at Columbia Metropolitan Airport slipped 7.6% for the first seven months of 2017 compared with a similar stretch in 2016, according to statistics posted on the airport’s website.
Through July, the airport counted 303,453 passenger enplanements compared with 328,412 for the first seven months of 2016. For July, passenger enplanements totaled 48,071, down 0.23% from July 2016’s total of 48,182.
The total number of passengers using the airport through the first seven months of the year is down to 613,808 compared with 666,197 for a similar period in 2016.
The decline in passenger traffic through July of this year marks a reversal of a five-year trend that saw business increase each year.
Final statistics for 2016 showed the airport’s total number of enplanements for the year came in at 559,523 which translated to a 2.40% increase over the total number of enplanements in 2015. The total traffic count for the year was finalized at 1,132,329 people traveling through the airport in 2016 for an overall increase of 2.77%. Over that stretch, airfares at the airport dropped 11%.
The July report also showed that American Airlines, which merged with US Airways in 2013, claimed the largest year-to-date market share, garnering 46% of passenger enplanements. Long-time market leader Delta Airlines slipped to second with a 41% share while United Airlines was at 13%.
The airport’s report for July also showed that the amount of freight loaded at the Columbia facility slipped by 3.09% during the month to 2,411 tons compared with 2,488 tons for July 2016. Through the first seven months of the year, enplaned freight is down 4.63% at 17,664 tons, according to the report.