Passenger volume up 8.7% at Oakland International Airport

Tops 3-4% growth rate average for other U.S. airports

Oakland International Airport experienced a significant jump in ridership over the past year, according to the airport's annual passenger traffic report.

The airport saw a growth rate of 8.7% in passenger traffic, airport officials said.

"This growth rate is not common in any airport," Oakland International Airport spokesman John Albrecht said. "Nationally the average is about three to four percent."

Oakland airport officials attribute the increase in passengers to a combination of factors including the addition of flights to new and existing destinations, the opening of BART service to the airport, as well as the increase in economic activity overall across the nation.

"The Oakland airport is very accessible beyond the greater Bay Area region," airport spokeswoman Dania Frink said.

During the past fiscal year, nine new destinations were added, including flights to and from Leon/Guanajuato, Tijuana, and Morelia in Mexico, Dallas-Love, Baltimore, Houston-Bush Intercontinental, Omaha, New Orleans, and Nashville in the United States.

The airport now also hosts nonstop service to 49 destinations worldwide, which is a record high since the airport's opening, according to Albrecht.

Abrecht also credits some of the growth to the availability of certain routes unique to OAK, which include flights to Oslo, Stockholm, Leon/Guanajuato, Morelia, Tijuana, New Orleans, Columbus, and Nashville.

According to the annual report, BART ridership to and from the Oakland International Airport station jumped a stunning 36% over the past year.

"Increased awareness and more passengers knowing that it is a resource available to them [is likely the cause of the increase," Frink said.

As the Oakland airport's traffic continues to grow, the airport has upcoming plans to expand service to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Guadalajara in late October or early November, according to Albrecht.

In addition to new routes, construction on a new tower is underway and aesthetic changes within the terminals are planned for the near future, Frink said.

"We are focusing on positive customer service and staying in connection with the community," Frink said.

— Bay City News Service

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