Tampa International Airport ends FY2014 with strong passenger growth, record revenues

October 31, 2014

Tampa International Airport saw a 2.4 percent increase in passengers and a 7 percent increase in revenues during Fiscal Year 2014, marking the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s fourth year in a row seeing year-over-year growth rates.

Growth in both domestic and international passengers led to the year’s strong financial performance, as July and August had 87.9 and 86.2 percent load factors, respectively – the highest in airport history.  For the full 2014 fiscal year, the airport served 17,325,011 passengers, which represents a 2.4% increase over FY2013.

International seat capacity grew 20 percent and the airport handled almost 600,000 international passengers – a 13.7 percent rise – during the year. Tampa International Airport has now seen a 53.3 percent growth in international passenger traffic since 2010.

“This unprecedented growth is a testament to what we can accomplish in the Tampa Bay market when we work together to make it happen,” airport CEO Joe Lopano said. “The support of our Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board, our community partners, our new and existing airlines and our local government leaders has been critical to Tampa International Airport’s success in 2014.”

Some of the top contributing factors to FY2014’s overall passenger growth:

  • Edelweiss Air saw its traffic increase by more than 44 percent during 2014 due to the addition of the second weekly service
  • Copa Airlines served more than 32,000 passengers in Tampa during the first nine months of operation
  • The Cuba flight market increased by almost a third as a Santa Clara route was added
  • Delta added additional frequencies to ATL and LAX
  • JetBlue added new service into Hartford and additional frequencies to Washington
  • Spirit added services to Minneapolis and additional frequencies to Detroit and Chicago
  • Canadian market carriers Air Canada and Westjet both had a very strong year in Tampa with 9.8 and 6 percent growth, respectively

The strong passenger numbers had a direct impact on the Aviation Authority’s financial picture as FY2014 ended with a record $197.2 million in revenues, which was almost $13 million more than in FY2013.

Revenue-generating highlights in FY2014 include:

  • Parking and ground transportation revenues  grew 9 percent due in part to a 2.7 percent increase in parking transactions
  • Increases in food and beverage revenues reflected an 8 percent increase in the average sales per enplaned passenger as well as overall passenger growth
  • The Authority’s car rental business, currently the 9th largest operation in the country, finished the year generating more than $38 million for the Authority

The Authority’s strong financial performance during FY2014 resulted in $8.1 million being added to cash reserves, funds which will be used to fund future capital programs or pay down debt as opportunities arise.

Tampa International Airport’s strong fourth-quarter finish showed large increases in passenger traffic during the last three months of the fiscal year, fueling anticipation that next year could be even stronger. The airport’s operating revenues are expected to exceed $200 million in FY2015, according to the budget approved Sept. 4 by the Authority board.

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