Sonoma County Airport passenger traffic rises 21% in November

Passengers arrive on the first American Airlines flight from Phoenix at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport on Thursday afternoon, February 16, 2017. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)


Passenger traffic through Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport was up 20.7 percent in November 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.

October saw a 13 percent drop in passengers, compared with October 2016. But in November, a total of 35,255 passengers flew through the airport, up from 26,921 in October, according to airport passenger information.

The number of passengers also was up over 12 months, from 29,219 during November 2016.

For the year through November, airline passengers totaled 366,550, up 17.4 percent from 312,211 that period last year.

For the month, Alaska Airlines reported 23,433 passengers, with a 75 percent load factor — the ratio of passengers to seats on each plane. This year through November, Alaska’s ridership was 280,186 passengers.

American Airlines, which began service to Phoenix in February and added a second flight in July, reported 6,163 passengers for November and 43,814 so far in the year. The carrier’s load factor was 76 percent.

United Airlines, which began service between Santa Rosa (airport code STS) and San Francisco (SFO) June 8, reported 4,790 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 869 passengers and a load factor of 60 percent.