The number of passengers flying in and out of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport rose nearly 4 percent in April when compared to the same time a year ago.
In April, 119,265 passengers used the airport, compared to 114,939 in April 2013, according to airport statistics.
For the first four months of the year, traffic increased 8 percent over the same time a year ago.
“The increase is attributed to the fact that Southwest Airlines is in our market now and has been extremely popular to the three routes they go to,” said Victor White, Wichita Airport Authority director of airports. “They have increased ridership.”
In addition, other airlines serving the same routes – Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Las Vegas, have lowered fares on those routes, which likely increased their ridership, too, White said.
“It’s the Southwest effect,” he said.
Southwest Airlines celebrated one year of service in Wichita on Monday.
The Dallas-based carrier merged with AirTran Airways in 2011 and has been integrating the two airlines since then.
The Wichita airport is served by 34 daily scheduled airline flights, compared to 32 last year.
In 2013, 1.506 million passengers flew in and out of the airport, down slightly from 1.509 million in 2012.
During the first four months of 2014, air carrier and commuter operations were up 5 percent and military traffic was up 15 percent.
General aviation traffic is down, however.
Itinerant traffic is down nearly 2 percent for the year through April, while local general aviation traffic has fallen 8 percent so far this year.
During 2013, air carrier and commuter traffic was up less than 1 percent over the year before, military traffic was down 17 percent, and general aviation traffic was down 10 percent.