Football fuels more passenger traffic at Birmingham airport

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Birmingham’s airport is experiencing strong growth in passenger traffic, new numbers show.

More than 2.9 million passengers passed through the airport in 2018, reported .

That’s a 10 percent increase compared to the 2.7 million passengers who used the airport in 2017.

In January, the airport set a record: It served 224,012 passengers, a nearly 16 percent increase in passengers over the previous year.

The Birmingham Airport Authority attributes the January numbers to its work with the airlines to add more seats and flights from Birmingham. Many of those extra flights have been added during the college football season, as fans flew in and out for games.

For instance, American Airlines and United Airlines added flights to the San Francisco Bay Area for Alabama’s appearance in the national championship.

“This growth is a direct result of the Birmingham community creating demand for the airlines by making BHM their airport of choice when flying to their game day destinations,” said Sylvester Lavender, the Birmingham Airport Authority’s Interim President and CEO.

“We anticipate our passenger numbers to continue to rise throughout the year as more routes and flights will be added for both business and leisure travelers,” Lavender said.

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