The passenger volume at Baton Rouge Metro Airport is up 0.5% for the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period a year ago.

As of the end of June, Baton Rouge Metro had 395,912 passengers, said Jim Caldwell, airport spokesman. Airport officials are projecting a 2% rise in passenger volume for the full year.

That would be a slightly smaller increase than what has been reported recently at the airport. Passenger numbers rose by 8% for 2017 and 2018 combined.

Caldwell said the airlines servicing Baton Rouge Metro saw “pretty big increases in seating capacity” in recent years as Delta Airlines and United Airlines brought in larger regional jets. While passenger numbers rose, they didn’t outpace the additional seats.

Right now, Delta’s flights are averaging 80% capacity, while United and American Airlines are seeing capacities in the mid-70% percent range, especially for flights to Dallas and Houston. If flight capacity gets over 80%, Caldwell said the airlines will consider adding flights or bringing in larger planes.

Right now, American currently has the largest share of the Baton Rouge Metro market because it has hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth and Charlotte, North Carolina. In June, American handled 38% of the traffic, while Delta had 35% of the business and United had 27%.

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