Oklahoma air travel not affected by weather in January

Departures increased 10 percent at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and nearly 5 percent at Tulsa International Airport last month.
BY JENNIFER PALMER jpalmer@opubco.com Published: February 17, 2011
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A month lacking weather cancellations boosted passenger departures at the state's major commercial airports in January.

Traffic was up 10 percent at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and nearly 5 percent at Tulsa International Airport for the month, compared with the same period in 2010. Snow and ice impacted travel during January last year, resulting in a drop in passenger traffic.

Karen Carney, spokeswoman for Will Rogers World Airport, said an uptick in business travel also added to January's increase. “People are taking advantage of some of the offerings airlines have, as far as cities and opportunities,” she said.

Airport staff members are working to increase those travel opportunities by attending the Network USA conference March 6-8 in Austin, Texas.

Carney said they are planning to meet with many airlines about adding service here.

Southwest, United, Republic/Frontier, American and Delta Air Lines, which all now serve the airport, and AirTran Airways and JetBlue, which would be new, are on the agenda.

“It really is a way to have official meetings, as well as networking at lunch and other opportunities,” she said.

In Tulsa, airport spokeswoman Alexis Higgins said the increase in January travelers was a nice way to start the new year. The airport has been conservative in its forecast for 2011, so any number above 1 percent growth is good, she said.

Travel agencies continue to report more bookings from vacationers, she added.

“This could be the start of us actually realizing what they've been telling us: that their bookings are up,” she said.