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Eastern Iowa Airport soared past passenger record in 2019 with 1.3 million

Passengers move through the security area of Eastern Iowa Airport. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Passengers move through the security area of Eastern Iowa Airport. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Eastern Iowa Airport set a new passenger record for the third consecutive year, with more than 1.3 million flying in 2019.

The airport saw a more than 11.4 percent increase from its previous annual passenger record, set with more than 1.2 million passengers in 2018, its officials announced Tuesday.

There were 672,468 enplaned passengers — people boarding a plane at the airport — and 670,151 deplaned passengers last year.

“Airlines are investing in the region with additional flights and capacity, and regional travelers have responded,” airport Director Marty Lenss said in a news release. “This is a direct reflection of a strong, diverse economy.”

Lenss said the addition of nonstop Allegiant flights to Nashville and American Airlines flights to Phoenix factored into the airport’s 2019 record numbers.

“At the time we released the information for the 2018 record, we had 13 nonstop destinations,” he said. “What a difference a year makes, now we have 15 nonstop destinations and a double-digit increase in seats.”

The airport expects another strong year in 2020 due to projections for capacity, or the number of seats in the market.

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Capacity is up year over year 18 percent for January, 25 percent for February and 17 percent for March, the airport said.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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