The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Best of Branson

January 25, 2012

Analyst: Southwest Airlines might help Branson

BRANSON, Mo. — An airport industry analyst says Southwest Airlines could significantly improve the financial shape of the Branson Airport.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the airport in Branson had a net loss of $12 million through the third quarter of 2011.

The airport is served by Frontier Airlines and AirTran Airlines. Southwest Airlines bought AirTran last year and announced Friday that it would continue flying to Branson.

Jack Penning, an airline analyst from Oregon, says Southwest Airlines has a history of improving business at its airports.  He says Branson Airport’s passenger numbers could nearly double within a year of Southwest providing full service.

Branson Airport’s passenger enplanements have increased from 50,000 in 2009 to 110,000 last year. Penning predicted Southwest could eventually increase traffic to 400,000 passengers a year.


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