Tampa International Airport is seeing strong revenue growth during the first half of the fiscal year with total revenues exceeding the $99 million mark, an increase of 2.8 percent over the first half of the previous fiscal year. Meanwhile, expenses are down over $1.6 million, or 3.2 percent for the fiscal year to date with lower than originally projected costs in contracted services, contracted maintenance, and utilities.
With the combination of strong revenue and lower than expected expenses so far this fiscal year the airport has exceeded bottom-line projections by 27.6 percent.
“To put that into perspective, the bottom line in the first half of 2014 already exceed the bottom line for the entire year of 2010, when we were feeling the worst of the recession” said Damian Brooke, the airports Vice President of Finance and Business Planning.
The most notable increases came from sales of food and beverage and retail merchandise as well as revenue from the Airport Marriott Hotel, increases in parking revenue and federal reimbursable expenses.
Brooke credits the additional revenue from enhancements that were made to the airport concessions program in 2012, combined with recent trends in customers’ spending patterns due to the slowly recovering economy.
“We’re tracking changes in passenger behavior such as customers choosing to park in the premium parking facilities, an increase in car rental transactions and a significant increase in the spending per enplaned passenger,” Brooke said.
The airport introduced the renovated concessions in May 2012 and has seen a steady increase in revenue generated from popular new concepts such as the Columbia Café, Green Iguana and First Flight Wine Bar. The new offerings combined with a modest passenger growth and the trend for passengers to spend more on concessions has been a recipe for success that is projected to continue.
“We’re batting revenue out of the ballpark,” said Brooke. “We have been laying the ground work for this to happen and now we are seeing the results.”
The revenue growth comes at a time when the airport is launching a $1 billion expansion that includes a consolidated rental car center, people mover and additional concessions redevelopment.
The positive financial picture translates into good news for the airlines at TPA as well, with a cost per enplaned passenger reduced by 5 percent to $5.29, a figure that keeps Tampa International Airport among the lowest in the industry for airports its size.
Overall passenger traffic increased by 0.6 percent in the first half of the fiscal year, driven by a continued steady growth of 10 percent in international passenger traffic credited to Copa Airlines service that began in December and strong passenger figures on flights to Canada.