Mid-Continent airport sees passenger numbers decline

The number of passengers flying in and out of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport fell 4 percent in December, compared to the same months of 2011.

Passenger numbers dropped 2 percent for the year, according to just-released airport statistics.

In December, 115,595 passengers flew in and out of the airport, compared to 120,822 in December 2011.

Traffic for 2012 totaled 1.51 million, compared to 1.537 million in 2011.

Passenger numbers were down because of capacity issues, said Valerie Wise, Wichita Airport Authority air service and business development manager.

Allegiant Air stopped seasonal service to Los Angeles in August 2011. And Frontier halted service to Denver Nov. 15, a loss of roughly 200 seats each way.

“The good news is we’ll get a lot of that capacity back in June with Southwest,” Wise said.

Southwest and AirTran Airways have been working to integrate their route networks after Southwest acquired AirTran in May 2011.

Southwest, based in Dallas, has said it will start flying in Wichita on June 2 when it begins daily flights to Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas.

AirTran’s three daily flights to Atlanta will cease.

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