Air Capital Insider

2016 was Eisenhower Airport’s second busiest year

Crews load baggage aboard a United Airlines Boeing 737-900 on Wednesday at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport. (April 6, 2016)
Crews load baggage aboard a United Airlines Boeing 737-900 on Wednesday at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport. (April 6, 2016) File photo

More than 1.6 million passengers used Wichita Eisenhower National Airport in 2016, making it the second-busiest year on record.

According to Wichita Airport Authority information released Thursday, last year’s passenger count increased 2 percent from 2015’s total of 1.5 million passengers.

Airport officials attributed part of the increase to Allegiant Airlines’ seasonal nonstop flights to Orlando, Fla., and Southwest Airlines’ new nonstop flights to St. Louis and Phoenix. In April 2016, Southwest changed its nonstop flights from Dallas and Chicago, which proved uneconomical for the airline.

Eisenhower’s busiest year on record was in 2008, when there were 1.62 million total passengers. It was called Mid-Continent Airport at the time.

Airport officials said what makes 2016 significant is that the number of available seats on airplanes was 15 percent lower than in 2008. Last year, flights at Eisenhower averaged 81 percent full.

Monthly records for passenger growth last year were set in June, September and October, the authority said in a news release.

Besides Southwest and Allegiant, Eisenhower Airport is served by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Beginning April 13, Alaska Airlines will operate daily, nonstop service to Seattle.

Valerie Wise of the Wichita Airport Authority talks about demand for daily nonstop flights from Wichita to Seattle and expectations for Alaska Airlines' just-announced service. Video by Jerry Siebenmark / Aug. 3, 2016

Southwest Airlines celebrated its first flight from Wichita Eisenhower National Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International on April 12, 2016. Southwest begins its new service from Wichita to St. Louis and Phoenix, in lieu of Dallas and Chicago. (

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

  Comments