By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport continued its record-setting ways in June, topping yet another passenger mark.
Passenger traffic hit 2,189,148 that month, the airport announced Monday. That total, a 2.9 percent increase over June 2011, is a new June record and the second-busiest month ever for BWI.
“Consistent growth at BWI Marshall affirms the strength and success of this market,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a written statement. “We continue to make investments and improvements to ensure that BWI Marshall remains a convenient gateway to the world.”
Indeed, work began last month on major upgrades to a pair of the airport’s concourses. BWI is adding a new security checkpoint and a post-security connection between Concourses B and C to accommodate growth of Southwest Airlines.
Concourse C will also get some food and retail upgrades.
Southwest, by far the dominant carrier at BWI, closed last year on its acquisition of AirTran Airways, a low-fare rival and BWI’s second-largest carrier. Southwest accounts for 59 percent of the passengers who fly through BWI, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. AirTran accounts for nearly 13 percent.
Southwest now occupies all of Concourses A and B and will be able to grow into Concourse C after the upgrade. The airline once again led growth at BWI in June, serving more than 1.2 million passengers, a 6.5 percent increase over the year before.
“Passenger traffic continues to rise, thanks to growth from our existing airline partners and the addition of new service,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, BWI’s executive director.
Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and British Airways also posted gains in June, according to the airport.
Bahamasair began flying to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island in May and Condor Airlines kicked off in early July seasonal, twice-weekly flights to Frankfurt, the third-busiest airport in Europe and a key hub on the continent. Condor serves more than 70 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
Spirit Airlines announced this month it will start flying out of BWI in September. The low-cost, Florida-based carrier will fly two round-trip flights a day to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and one a day to Dallas/Fort Worth from BWI’s C Concourse.