[caption id="attachment_47291" align="alignright" width="448" caption="Alaska Air currently serves Santa Rosa with Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft."][/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- More than 20,000 passengers flew to and from Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in July, an increase of 5.8 percent from a year before and up from the previous month, according to figures released today.

For the first seven months of this year, passenger volume reached 119,764, an increase of 2.3 percent over last year, according to Alaska Airline, the airport's only commercial carrier.

That's just below the peak of 120,041 passengers for January through July in 2008, a year after airline service returned to the airport. That pace slumped t0 105,000 in 2009 and nearly 103,000 in 2010, when passenger volume started to rebound.

In July, 20,617 passengers flew in or out of the airport. In June of this year, 19,060 passengers used the airport, an increase of 2.4 percent from the year before.

Last week, the airport celebrated its 1 millionth passenger since passenger flights returned in 2007  after being absent for nearly six years.

Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Alaskan Airlines, operates flights from Santa Rosa  to Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Last month,  Alaska Airlines started flights between San Diego and Santa Rosa, replacing service from Sonoma County to Las Vegas. A third flight to Los Angeles was also added.