May 30, 2013 Updated: May 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm
Frontier Airlines reduction in flights in March as it was preparing to pull out of the Colorado Springs market triggered the biggest percentage decline in passenger traffic at the Colorado Springs Airport in 1+ years.
The number of passengers boarding departing flights at the airport in March fell 12.4 percent from a year earlier to 54,967, with four of the five carriersreporting traffic declines. United Airlines, which carries more than half of the passengers from Colorado Springs, reported a 5.8 percent increase in traffic from a year ago, while Allegiant Air, Delta Air Lines and Frontier all reported declines of more than 30 percent during the same period.
Traffic in the first three months of the year is down 5.9 percent from a year ago to 163,450.
Frontier halted service to Colorado Springs April 7. The Denver-based carrier's departure is expected to reduce passenger numbers by 18.5 percent this year to 670,000, the lowest level in 22 years, according to the airport's latest forecast.
Traffic is forecast to decline again next year to 630,000 passengers.
To combat the decline, the city asked for proposals from marketing consultants in March to develop a new marketing strategy for the airport. No contract has been awarded, but the city said in its solicitation that it would pay $125,000 to $150,000 for the plan.
Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilman
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