Sonoma County Airport passenger traffic rises 17%

Passengers board an Alaska Airlines flight to Portland at the Sonoma County Airport on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat)


Passenger traffic through Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport was up 15.8 percent in December over the previous year, showing signs of recovering from the October wildfires that raged through Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Mendocino counties the first half of the month.

“Service has been recovering since October and we’re hoping for a successful 2018,” an airport spokesperson said

The number of passengers also was up over 12 months, to 31,237 compared to 26,980 in December 2016.

For the year through December, airline passengers totaled 397,787, up 17.3 percent from 339,191 that period last year.

For the month, Alaska Airlines reported 20,429 passengers, with a 73 percent load factor — the ratio of passengers to seats on each plane. Through December, Alaska’s ridership was 300,595 passengers, down from 310,043 in 2016.

American Airlines, which began service to Phoenix in February and added a second flight in July, reported 5,734 passengers for December and 49,548 for the year. The carrier’s load factor was 69 percent.

United Airlines, which began service between Santa Rosa (airport code STS) and San Francisco (SFO) June 8, reported 5,017 passengers for the month and a load factor of 57 percent.

Sun Country Airlines, which began once-a-week service to Minneapolis on Aug. 24, reported 57 passengers for the month and a load factor of 58 percent. For the year, the airline reported 2,897 passengers.