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Discount carrier Breeze, legacy airlines help Huntsville International set record 

HUNTSVILLE – Not surprisingly with the ongoing growth in the area, Huntsville International Airport broke all previous passenger traffic records in 2023 marking its busiest year ever with more than 1.47 million flyers passing through the gates. 

There were 1,473,629 passengers to be exact who traveled through Huntsville International (HSV) with an increase of 22.7 percent in traffic over 2022. The last highest year on record, 2019, saw 1,445,365 passengers traveling through the airport.

According to Port of Huntsville CEO Butch Roberts, several factors contributed to passenger traffic growth in the North Alabama airport. Much of the growth can be attributed to Huntsville becoming the largest city in the state of Alabama with good-paying jobs and a high standard of living that includes expendable income for leisure travel.

“Legacy airlines American, Delta and United have added more seats and greater frequency of weekly flights to their schedules from HSV,” Roberts said in a news release. “We saw the addition of some exciting seasonal routes in 2023 including nonstop service to Miami.”

Airport leadership believes that the Huntsville and North Alabama market – as well as the airport infrastructure – will support the addition of more flights and additional nonstop service in the year to come.

“Our capacity will allow us to grow without having to make any major investments,” said Trey Bentley, Port of Huntsville Board Chair. “We’re built for future growth without major impacts to the traveler.”

Roberts added that more residents of the airport’s 18-county service area spanning North Alabama and Southern Tennessee are beginning to understand the benefits of shopping Huntsville first for their flights.

“They are increasingly recognizing that their time is valuable,” he said.

Ultra-low-cost carrier Breeze Airways, a start-up airline by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, came to HSV in 2021 and has had a measurable impact, also.

“Breeze has brought us nonstop flights to desirable locations, and their presence has influenced the fares of the legacy carriers,” Bentley said. “This is what we planned for, and this has given us momentum in the commercial air market in our region.”

Breeze flights begin at $44 one-way to Tampa, $49 to Orlando, and $89 to Las Vegas.

“More people are discovering that when they shop Huntsville first, the assumptions that they have had about fares are shattered,” Roberts said. “It’s just getting folks to break old habits; it’s the right time of year.”

For more information, visit http://www.flyhuntsville.com/.

 

 

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