The satisfaction level at the Tuesday, Nov. 27 meeting of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority was sky high thanks to new numbers that show a dramatic uptick in the number of seats on passenger flights serving the airport.

For decades, officials with Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) have witnessed passengers who live near PTIA choosing Charlotte-Douglas International and Raleigh-Durham International for flights, but it looks like PTIA is finally coming up in the world. Certainly passenger traffic and the number of available seats are both going up.

PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker said at the Nov. 27 Airport Authority meeting that passenger traffic was up nearly 6 percent in 2018 on a year-to-date basis.

But he said the most promising stat was the number of seats on the airlines serving the airport.

“The seats are just amazing,” Baker told the board.

He said the seats scheduled for January 2019 were up 23 percent from January 2018.

“That’s the biggest I remember it being – ever,” he said, adding that scheduled flights for January 2019 were also on the rise.

“Flights were up 16.8 percent in January,” Baker said.

He said some might assume it was because Spirit Airlines added flights this year, but that was only part of the story.

“It’s 20,000 seats total and about 6,500 of those seats are Spirit seats,” he said. “So Spirit is only accounting for one-third of that growth.   United is the big one. They’re up 44 percent.”