PIA breaks annual passenger record

Local News

The Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport set a new passenger record in 2018.

A record 672,594 passengers traveled through PIA in 2018, up 6 percent from 2017 and up almost 5 percent from the previous record of 641,671 that was set in 2015.

This number comes after a year that included seven record months: March, May, June, July, August, October and November, with June being the busiest month in airport history.

“We have so many partners – and we truly see Central Illinois as a partner – to thank for reaching this milestone. This is what can happen when our community chooses to ‘Fly Local,’ and our airlines do notice,” said Gene Olson, Director of Airports for the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria. “PIA is fortunate to have a good mix of routes to serve both leisure and business travelers, and a strong airport not only benefits existing businesses in the area, but, hopefully, can attract new businesses as well.”

Olson said that starting in mid-February, the twice-daily  route to Charlotte, N.C., operated by PSA Airlines on behalf of American, will be on 65-seat CRJ-700 regional jets and will include 9 business class seats. American added first-class service to Dallas/Fort Worth from Peoria in 2017.

“We know everyone has options,” Olson said. “We just hope people fly with us as much as they can so we can continue to grow and add even more flights. Go global, fly local – that’s our message.”

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