Cheap Fares Keep SFO Flying High

Airport gains more passengers for 6th consecutive year

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What's good for travelers' wallets is also good for SFO.
More and more travelers are choosing to fly from San Francisco International Airport because of lower fares, giving the airport a boost for the sixth year in a row.

Federal statistics released Monday show SFO had 18.4 million passengers in 2009 -- 330,000 more than the year prior, according to the San Mateo County Times. It was the only airport in the top 10 list that did not lose traffic.

The increase at SFO is quite the opposite from what's happening at airports across the country. For the past two years, air travel has gone down -- from 838 million passengers in 2007 to just 770 million last year.

Passenger numbers at Norman Mineta Airport in San Jose dipped for the fourth year in a row, according to the statistics. It was down 24 percent since its passenger peak in 2005. The air passenger count at Oakland has dipped 36 percent since its peak in 2007. Both of the airports recorded their lowest passenger count in the past 10 years.

But it's not all good news for SFO's numbers. International passengers dropped 5 percent in 2009.

SFO spokesman Mike McCarron said this year should bring another small boost in passenger traffic. Officials are expecting up to 4 pecent more in the way of passenger numbers.

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