Low Cost Airlines, New Routes Generate Increase in Passenger Traffic at Hancock Airport

Mar 15, 2019

Travelers at Syracuse Hancock International Airport.
Credit Scott Willis/WAER News

It looks like passenger traffic at Hancock Airport is off to a strong start for 2019.  Officials say enplanements are up almost 11 percent over the first two months of last year.  Hancock Spokesperson Jennifer Sweetland says the addition of new airlines and nonstop routes fueled the increase.

“If you have a large family, it’s quite expensive and with the introduction of the ultra-low cost carriers, it’s gives folks an opportunity to travel…that maybe they weren’t able to travel previously.”

Sweetland says the early growth builds on the airport’s 12 percent increase in traffic for all of last year.  Sweetland says having low cost airlines gives travelers more options.  

“Frontier and Allegiant did not come in here and take passengers from another airline that we had. We’re saying that there’s so much opportunity in our market that we’re pulling people and putting people in seats that were not loyal to another airline and flip-flopped”

Legacy airlines are also trying to stay competitive. Sweetland says United is offering daily non-stop service to Denver starting in June.  Allegiant will begin non-stop service to Sarasota April 3rd.  There are currently 24 nonstop destinations offered out of Syracuse.


A search firm is beginning to narrow down the candidates who want to be the next director of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority. Christina Callahan departed the role last month to become deputy general manager of LaGuardia Airport.  Jennifer Sweetland says now it’s a matter of seeing who best meets the qualifications.

“The firm that’s handling the search is just going through all of the applicant applications, and they will be scheduling interviews based on how long it takes him to go through everything.”

Sweetland says an airport management consultant firm was the best way to handle the search.

“The airport and the board is looking for an airport professional, and we want to make sure that we have a wide reach for applicants.”

The authority’s director of operations is serving as the interim director.  Sweetland hopes they have a new director in place by mid-summer.