Officials report that passenger traffic at San Francisco International Airport surged to an all-time high for the fiscal year that ended this past June, with 21.4 million passengers boarding flights at SFO. The record eclipsed the old record of 20.2 million passengers set in 2000, and airport officials hope that this year’s passenger totals will be even better. Officials cited several factors that combined to set the new record, including these:
- Virgin America’s decision to make SFO their base of operations in 2007
- JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United increasing operations at SFO to counter Virgin America’s move
- Tough economic conditions that prompted airlines to move services from airports in San Jose and Oakland in order to consolidate operations and reduce costs
- Recent upticks in spending and investment by Bay Area residents and businesses
- The renovation of Terminal 2
Chamber of Commerce official Jim Lazarus was delighted to hear about the new record, saying that this is clear evidence that the area economy is improving after a rough stretch.
“Every recent economic indicator has been healthy, from falling commercial vacancy rates to more overseas visitors,” he said. “We’ve risen strongly out of the recession.”
SFO’s plans to expand even further in the next few years could boost passenger numbers further, with Terminals 1 and 3 slated for renovation and expansion.
SFO spokesman Michael McCarron said, “We have to make sure that we have the facilities to meet any kind of passenger boom that could be coming.”
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