AVP officials work to add more destinations as traveling increases

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AVOCA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport has seen an increase in travelers over the past couple of months.

With more people getting vaccinated, business travel is also increasing on top of leisure travel. Airport officials say the rebound started at the end of March.

“I travel very frequently, at lease once a month and now there are definitely more flights to choose from, there’s more flights to deal and when you get into other airports there’s a lot more people than there was before,” Dave Soden, a traveler said.

Soden travels for business but said he was putting work aside and heading to Charlotte for a wedding.

“We are vaccinated and that’s what makes the comfort, being vaccinated is everything,” he said.

More flights were added to Charlotte and Chicago in March to keep up with increasing demand. Airport officials expect more flights to be added as passengers book more flights.

“We are also seeing some of the businesses get back into the air and for us here at this airport, that is extremely important,” Carl Beardsley Jr., Executive Director of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport said. “The business people really drive how many passengers go though this terminal building.”

American and United operate out of AVP. Year-to-year, American Airlines has seen and increase of more than three thousand flights per day this month than last month, according to Radarbox.com. United Airlines saw an increase of more than two thousand flights and the growth is noticeable at Avoca.

On average per day, the airport sees around seven departure flights heading to Charlotte, Chicago and Washington D.C. and around nine arrival flights per day.

“They see we are having additional ridership, they’re seeing that the business customers are starting to come more to the airport. They have reason to consider us for new service going forward,” Beardsley said.

Airport officials are working aggressively to make that happen and get more carriers back to AVP.

“We’re always after new service, we listen to the community and what ever way we can expand our service in ways that help the community,” Beardsley said.

“The best hope would be to have delta to come back because I had a lot of miles on Delta and they brought a lot of the areas that I travel frequently for business,” Soden said.

Passengers Eyewitness News spoke with say they have noticed more flight time options to get them where they need to go. They hope more options will continue to be added for more destinations for travel or connecting flights.

It is not known when exactly more flights will take off but officials say that if more people book flights, more options will be made available.

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