Marketing promotions help boost travel to Space Coast

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Nov. 23, 2010) — Melbourne International Airport continued its dramatic surge in passenger growth in October, racking up a 68 percent increase in travelers as compared with the same month last year. It was the eighth consecutive month of double-digit increases.

Year to date through October, 292,658 passengers passed through the airport, representing a nearly 53 percent increase over all of 2009.

“We’ve had a great 2010 with the addition of US Airways and Direct Air, and we still have two months to go,” said airport Executive Director Richard Ennis. “This holiday season is predicted to be the best since the economic downturn, so we expect our passenger numbers to remain strong.”

The string of double-digit increases dates back to March, the month after US Airways resumed service to the airport after a 12-year hiatus. The carrier has enjoyed strong load factors since its return, peaking in September and October, when it reported 85 percent load factors.

The boost in US Airways’ passenger traffic comes on the heels of discount fare promotions by the airline and aggressive local marketing efforts. The airport helped market the airline’s fall discount airfare offer through its “Cheep Seats” advertising campaign, which included print and social-media components.

The recent marketing efforts are part of a six-month campaign by US Airways, the city of Melbourne and the Space Coast Office of Tourism that combines nearly $200,000 in local dollars with a more than 2-to-1 match from the airline.

Delta Air Lines, the airport’s other legacy carrier, also had a strong showing in October. The airline’s operations accounted for 21,442 passengers — the bulk of the airport’s passengers for the month — and reported an 83.5 percent load factor.

Also, Melbourne International Airport posted a 30.77 percent increase in cargo shipments through the first 10 months of the year.

About Melbourne International Airport

Melbourne International Airport serves east Central Florida, including Brevard and Indian River counties, and is responsible for generating more than $1 billion per year in economic activity. The airport, which has three runways and a 200,000-square-foot terminal, currently serves Delta Air Lines, Direct Air, US Airways, Baer Air and Airgate Aviation. For more information, visit