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News - August 15, 2005

Airport Continues to Attract Record Numbers of Passengers
FY 2005 Traffic Spiraled 18.6% From FY 2004

Philadelphia - Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) marked yet another milestone in passenger traffic by processing a record 31,074,454 air travelers in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2004 and ending June 30, 2005. The new record smashed the previous all-time high of 26,190,976 in FY 2004. Since FY 2003, PHL's passenger volume has soared a staggering 28% from 24,232,804.

In addition to total passengers, the Airport welcomed 4,123,022 international travelers, up 6.4% from the previous high of 3,873,337 in FY 2004. Since 1994, when only a handful of nonstop international flights were offered at PHL, the Airport's non-domestic passenger traffic has increased by 245%.

"The flying public is flocking to our Airport in historic numbers, which demonstrates that the City is doing an outstanding job in offering an attractive air transportation facility," said Mayor John F. Street. "The number of passengers the Airport is accommodating is tremendous, and in the years ahead we look forward to welcoming even greater numbers of travelers to one of the nation's finest airports."

PHL has more than 700 daily departures to more than 130 domestic and international cities. The significant spike in passenger traffic at PHL is even more remarkable considering that just a decade ago 18.4 million passengers used PHL.

"We have worked consistently to bring competitive, low-cost air service to PHL," noted Charles J. Isdell, the City's Director of Aviation. "In the past year, airlines operating at PHL have added more than 100 daily departures, including nonstop flights to two new European cities. Low-fare competition has made flying financially feasible, and the traveling public has responded tremendously."

The only major airport serving one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, PHL has been a magnet for both business and leisure travelers lured by affordable, convenient flight options. The presence of five low-cost carriers has spurred competition and diminished airfares considerably at PHL, where the average one-way domestic fare has dropped 25% since January 2004.

Southwest Airlines, the nation's No. 1 low-cost carrier, began service at PHL in May 2004 with 14 flights to 6 cities. In June 2005, Southwest was operating 46 daily flights to 17 cities, its best start ever in a new market.

In response to reduced fares offered by low-cost carriers operating at PHL - Southwest, Frontier Airlines, AirTran Airways, America West Airlines and USA3000 - legacy carriers such as US Airways, the largest airline at PHL, have lowered ticket prices on many routes where they compete with low-cost competitors. The proliferation of diminished fares has stimulated an unprecedented demand for air travel at PHL.

The cost-friendly fares have also apparently enticed fliers from competing markets. In March, a New York Times article headlined "On the Whole, They'd Rather Fly From Philly" reported that an increasing number of travelers from the New York region were making the trip down to Philadelphia to take advantage of cheaper fares.

As passenger traffic has soared at PHL, aircraft operations have risen correspondingly to 522,000, up from 459,627 in FY 2004 - a 13.6% increase.

In addition to the surge in passenger traffic and aircraft operations, PHL realized an all-time best in tons of cargo handled in FY 2005. The 599,758 tons was up 0.05% from the previous high of 568,924 tons in FY 2004.

For information contact:
Mark Pesce
(215) 937-6944

The Philadelphia Airport System is owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia and is composed of Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport. The Airport System is a self-sustaining entity that operates without the use of local tax dollars. It is one of the largest economic engines in Pennsylvania, generating an estimated $14 billion in spending to the regional economy and employing a workforce of nearly 34,000.

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