With the start of summer travel season around the bend, Lehigh Valley International Airport reported a nearly 30 percent increase in passenger traffic in April compared to the same month last year.
The Hanover Township, Lehigh County-based airport has seen steady passenger increases each month for nearly two years.
Last month, 83,560 passengers traveled through the airport, a 27.28 percent increase from April 2018, according to the report. These figures mark the second-highest single-month total since 2011, the report said.
All four carriers reported increases. American Airlines reported a jump of 53.3 percent, followed by Allegiant up 25 percent, Delta up 17 percent and United Airlines up 4.3 percent.
A number of factors contributed to the increase, said Colin Riccobon, spokesperson for Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, the organization that owns and operates the airport.
“The twice-daily service to Chicago produced a lot of positive momentum, both leisure and business,” Riccobon said. The service, aboard American Airlines, started in April.
Spring break for college students and their families also contributed.
“We noticed a travel surge during spring break,” Riccobon said, adding that more growth is expected this summer. The airport considers June 1 through Aug. 31 its summer travel season, Riccobon said.
Airlines for America, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association, expects a record number of travelers this summer. Its forecast shows 257.4 million people will travel on U.S. airlines this summer, a 3.4 percent increase over last summer.
Seasonal service to Nashville from LVIA began Friday. In June, service starts to Savannah/Hilton Head aboard Allegiant, two more routes that could push passenger figures higher.
In anticipation, the airport authority recently repaved an overflow lot for employees that it will now use for additional passenger parking, Riccobon said.