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Record Summer For Missoula Airport

Dirk-Jan Kraan (CC-BY-NC 2.0)

It was a record summer for passenger traffic at Missoula International Airport.

Deputy Director Brian Ellestad says 240,830 passengers flew in and out of Missoula this summer.

That's almost 33,000 more than last summer.

According to Ellestad, people are responding to recently added airline service. 

"Obviously Frontier came into the market in June," he says, "but even all of our airlines, Delta added service, more frequency to Atlanta, Los Angeles, weekend service. United added in more frequency to Chicago. San Francisco and Chicago are extended into September this year, which is not [included] in those numbers. Alaska's added Portland and more Seattle service for the month of August; so really a really good summer."

More airline passengers means more people are spending money in western Montana.

Ellestad says, "For Delta, every Saturday and Sunday when we had the flights come in  you could just see the economic impact from all the tourism that service brought into Montana. Their flights were probably over 90 percent full on all those Atlanta flights. It's a 150-160 seat airplane. That's a lot of people per flight coming in."

Ellestad says Missoula International Airport could possibly see up to 20 percent more passenger traffic for September and October.