Duluth Airport Sees More Travelers, Bigger Jets

Travel to and from the Duluth International Airport increased in the first quarter after a new terminal opened in January.

Passenger travel is on the rise at the Duluth International Airport.
 
A total of 77,711 passengers traveled through the airport during the first quarter of this year, up 5 percent from the same period a year ago, according to data released Monday.
 
Passenger travel increased after a new airport terminal opened in January. Tom Werner, executive director of the Duluth Airport Authority, said in a Monday statement that the increased travel reflects the fact that passengers support new services offered at the airport.
 
Looking to tap into the growth trend, Delta Air Lines, Inc., which serves Duluth with flights to Detroit and the Twin Cities, plans to upgrade the jet it uses for its 5:30 a.m. daily flight to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The larger E-175 jet will feature additional economy and first class seating.
 
The first-quarter increase in travelers continues a growth trend: The Duluth airport reported a 9 percent increase in travelers from 2011 to 2012, according to a report by the Duluth News Tribune.
 
Regarding Delta's new jets, Werner told the Duluth newspaper that offering 12 of the jet’s 76 seats as first class is “extremely important for our business travelers.” Additional seats and the choice of first class or economy seating will be important as the Duluth airport heads into a busy travel period, he added.