Evansville Regional Airport starts new year on a high note

EVV realizes more than a 19 percent surge in annual passenger counts last year; average air fares drop more than 11 percent.

March 5, 2016 08:38

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Evansville, Ind., January 26, 2016 - Passenger traffic in 2015 at Evansville Regional Airport (EVV) was up 19.25 percent compared to passenger counts in the previous year, resulting in the largest growth of the century. And while the passenger counts are on the rise, average fares at EVV have decreased by more than 11 percent, positioning Evansville Regional as one of the most competitive-priced airports in the area.

EVV reported that through December 2015, year-to-date passenger numbers totaled 208,296, surpassing the prior year’s passenger count of 174,665.

Doug Joest, Executive Director at Evansville Regional Airport, remarked, “We are very pleased with our growth and our positioning in the air travel market, and we are grateful that our communities responded to the additional capacity that we’ve added over the last year.”

Joest said that Evansville Regional is standing out above other airports with that growth, and he believes there are a few factors contributing to EVV’s increased passenger counts.

First, Joest said the additional air service that Evansville Regional Airport has attracted in recent years is having an impact, particularly the addition of American Airline’s Charlotte flights and United’s Chicago flights.

“We have nonstop service to five top-rated hubs – Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas and Detroit on the three remaining major legacy airlines – American Airlines, Delta and United,” he said.

Additionally, Joest said that Evansville Regional’s rates are very competitive, and that passengers are seeing the lowest fares out of EVV.

“Our average fares have dropped more than 11 percent over that last two years,” said Joest. “Low-cost fares make a huge difference, and we are capturing passengers who in the past would have driven to competing airports.”

Joest said another factor in the airport’s growth is an improved economy and all of the work being done by organizations like the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau and many other regional economic development organizations, all of which are working to attract more people to the communities that Evansville Regional Airport services.

“It’s not just about getting people from the tristate area connected to the world; it’s also about getting the world connected to our communities,” he said.

Evansville Regional Airport is also working to improve the customer experience by upgrading its facility. Plans are currently underway for a fifth jet bridge to be added at EVV this summer to accommodate the passenger growth, creating a better flying experience for passengers. And this year will mark the start of a $10 million terminal renovation project, made possible in part by the state’s Regional Cities grant award to Southwest Indiana. The renovation will include a centralized screening area, which will provide access to the restaurant and other amenities after clearing through security. Additionally, there will be many other aesthetically pleasing enhancements and upgrades to the terminal facilities and parking lot.

“It’s an exciting project, and one that will provide our passengers more amenities and a better overall travel experience,” Joest said. “It also positions us very well for future growth during a very competitive time in the industry,” Joest said. Joest also said that Evansville Regional is always focused on trying to increase the airport’s nonstop service to destinations across the country.

“We are working to retain and grow to as many nonstop destinations as possible,” he said. “And one of the best ways for us to achieve that, is for our regional neighbors to continue using our airport.”

About Evansville Regional Airport 

Evansville Regional Airport is served by all three legacy carriers – American Airlines, Delta and United, which connect passengers to hundreds of domestic and international destinations daily via direct flights to five top-rate hub cities – Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Charlotte and Chicago. Evansville Regional Airport generates more than $900 million in economic benefits annually, per the Economic Survey completed by the Aviation Association of Indiana in 2012. Evansville Regional is owned and operated by the Evansville-Vanderburgh Airport Authority District, who also owns Thunderbolt Pass Golf Course and leases other buildings and parcels of land around the airport. In all, the airport authority owns and maintains approximately 1,700 acres, with total property employment exceeding 500 employees.