Traffic Keeps Dropping At Bradley

Passenger traffic continues to fall at Bradley International Airport by several measures.

First, the number of flights has been dropping. In November 2007, there were 2,664 commercial passenger flights out of Bradley, according to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. In November 2008, there were 2,120. That’s down 20 percent.

Second, the airlines are using smaller aircraft. The average number of seats on a  passenger aircraft at Bradley fell from 113 in 2007 to 98 in 2008, according the airport’s strategic plan.

Third, this adds up to a cut in capacity, the number of airline seats available. USA Today, compiling figures from airline schedules provided by the Official Airline Guide, shows that during the month of March 2009 there will be 10,001 seats available out of Bradley, a drop of 11.4 percent, year over year

Southwest, now carrying more passengers than any other airline at Bradley, plans no increase in capacity for the next two years. Delta, running a close second, plans an 8 percent cut in capacity during 2009. It’s not clear precisely how that will affect Bradley, but already it has downsized two Atlanta flights from 757s to MD-80s.

Want a graphic look?

Here’s a chart showing the drop in the number of flights at Bradley, culled from the numbers reported in the Air Travel Consumer Report:

flites-bdl.jpgHere’s another, from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, showing the number of passengers who flew out of Bradley on domestic flights each year since 2002:


This is happening to airports everywhere, and there’s no reason I can think of for the trend to reverse in the next year or two.


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