Trends in Spokane International Airport Destinations Served, Daily Departures, Passengers

Update: Since this was written, Alaska/Horizon announced it will add 2 additional turbo prop flights to the Spokane-Seattle route.  Alaska did not publicly announce their price hike, but in their reservation system, the price went up.

See prior post for how the number of flights and destination cities list was determined. There could be slight variations in the numbers used or estimated.

Actual data points for 2004, 2005, 2011 and 2012. In between values pro-rated estimates. First two charts are through January 2012.

Actual data points for  2005, 2011 and 2012. In between values pro-rated estimates.

Data values from from with 2011 estimated from first half year trend. Data for 2011 is estimated using passenger levels through June of 2011.

Trend in passenger growth (or loss) at Spokane “International” Airport versus Total National Air Passengers.

In this chart, the national total has been re-scaled to start at the same point as the Spokane total in order to compare the local growth rate (or loss) with the national growth rate in air travel. The data for Spokane come from and the national data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Ignore the Y-Axis numbers as they are meaningless in the trend comparison due to re-scaling.

The start date of 1996 is because that is the oldest data available at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The end date is 2010, the most recent full year of data.

Interpretation: Compare the starting point of the blue line to the ending point of the blue line. As you can see, national air traffic has increased over this time. Compare the starting point of the red line to the end point of the red line. Passenger load at Spokane “International” Airport has gone down over this period.

The publicly funded downtown Central City convention center expansion was going to increase visitors to Spokane. How did that work out?  Update: The convention center expansion did not deliver on its expansion promises. Later this year, charts and data will be provided to show what happened.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.


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