Flight Cuts, Fare Hikes Blamed For Passenger Plunge At LA, OC Airports

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — More travelers are staying away from regional airports in southern California as the sluggish economy continues to wreak havoc on the airline industry.

KNX 1070’s Chris Sedens reports airlines are cutting back on the number of flights they provide each day over a sharp rise in fuel prices.

The cutbacks, combined with higher fares across the industry, are credited with a sharp drop in people using regional airports.

At Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, the number of passengers arriving and departing dropped by just over 5 percent in April compared to the same period last year.

“It affects, of course, our parking revenues and our passenger facility charges that we collect off of revenue passengers,” said Lucy Burghdorf, the airport’s manager of public relations.

While other regional airports like John Wayne in Orange County and Ontario are also seeing fewer passengers, passenger traffic at LAX grew by 7 percent.

And with the airlines offering fewer flights, it means the flights that depart from regional airports are even fuller to capacity, causing greater passenger dissatisfaction.

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