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Published on Friday, November 22, 2019

Passenger Stats Indicate Continued Air Service Demand While Flying Gets Easier – and Playful – at SAT.

CONTACT: Rich Stinson, O: 210-207-1509
C: 912- 433-2329,
Tonya Hope, O: 210-207-1515
C: 210-400-7428

San Antonio (November 21, 2019) – San Antonio International Airport is ready for the peak travel period that begins with the Thanksgiving Holiday and continues through the new year. October passenger stats continue to reflect the strong demand for air service at SAT and the airport remains on pace to set another passenger record in 2019. Despite the expected record number of travelers, flying continues to get easier at SAT with the opening of a children’s play area in Terminal A, and the opening of a new hike and bike trail that connects San Antonio’s rich history along the San Antonio River with its aviation history at Stinson Municipal Airport.

New Hike and Bike Trail along Stinson Municipal Airport The San Antonio

Airport System partnered with the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department to unveil the brand-new Stinson Hike and Bike Trail the first week of November. The new trail design connects the historic Mission Trail along the San Antonio River with Stinson Municipal Airport, traversing through San Antonio’s World Heritage Site and historic San Antonio Missions. Visitors to Stinson are now greeted with new amenities, including added parking and a trailhead kiosk that shares the history of the airport and its importance to military and commercial aviation history.

“This new hike and bike trail has been years in the making, and I am grateful to see it come to fruition,” said City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran. “I am excited that another new trail amenity is now open in District 3 that will welcome San Antonio families, cyclists, and tourists alike to compliment all of the work we have been doing with our local stakeholders at Stinson Airport.”

“The new trail will give visitors access to the UNESCO World Heritage Missions, our very own historic airport, and all of the authentic elements that make San Antonio a world class city,” said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio.

The San Antonio City Council approved the Partner and Design Construction Agreement between the National Park Services and the City of San Antonio earlier this year.

Stinson Municipal Airport holds a unique place in aviation history. The pioneering Stinson family established the Stinson School of Flying in 1915, and today the airport is the second-oldest continuously operated airport in the country and serves as a general aviation reliever airport to San Antonio International Airport.

October Passenger Statistics Remain Strong Despite Challenges

Domestically, air traffic decreased slightly by 0.7%, for a total of 861,129 passengers. Internationally, passenger traffic grew yet again, with 34,819 international passengers, a 6.6% increase compared to October 2018. Additionally, a total of 24,543,194 pounds of air cargo moved through SAT during the month. This is a 1.2% cargo increase compared to October 2018 with year-to-date totals up 3.1%.

This steady demand is significant, as SAT has dealt with challenges impacting the number of passengers traveling through SAT. A corporate-level shift in strategy within Frontier Airlines resulted in a reduction in Frontier service at airports across the country, including SAT. This strategy shift meant that Frontier offered 12,000 less seats to travelers in the month of October compared to the same time last year. The departure of Air Canada contributed to fewer seats available, although international travel still grew by more than 6%. The most significant challenge has been the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which many carriers maintain in their aircraft fleets. This has caused reductions in service at airports worldwide. Despite these significant challenges, SAT is still on pace to exceed 10 million passengers for 2019 and set another passenger record.

New Children’s Play Area to Make Flying Easier for Families at SAT

San Antonio International Airport will debut a brand new children’s play area in Terminal A in December, just before the peak holiday travel period begins, which will see tens of thousands of families with children traveling through the airport.

The children’s play area will include state-of-the-art PLAYSOFT elements from PLAYTIME, and offer smaller children an opportunity to play, learn and stretch their legs one last time before boarding their flight.

“SAT makes flying easier,” said Karen Ellis, Chief of Customer Experience. “This is just our latest enhancement to our customer experience at SAT – focusing on families traveling with smaller children, providing an innovative entertainment experience, and helping to remove the stress associated with air travel – all so our passengers can just fly easier.”

Although the children’s play area will open in December, there are already plans in place for future enhancements in 2020 that will make it a truly distinct and signature attraction at SAT.

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Author: Brandon Barnes (GPA)

Categories: City News, Aviation