ST. CLOUD -- It was a good year at the St. Cloud Regional Airport last year, however ridership was down a bit. Airport Director Bill Towle says about 42,600 people used the commercial airlines at the airport in 2019 compared to about 43,700 the year before.

We saw about a 2 1/2 percent decrease.  However, we had a reduction in flights.  We didn't have any flights in September, but then we had bigger aircraft throughout the year.

Towle says the load factor on the Allegiant flights remained at about 90 percent last year.

Allegiant has four trips between Mesa, Arizona, and St. Cloud now, that goes up to five trips in a few weeks. Allegiant's two trips per week between St. Cloud and Punta Gorda continue through mid-April.

Towle says he continues to meet with Allegiant officials about possibly adding a third destination, but that probably won't be happening anytime soon.

Towle says the busy spring travel season means there are a lot of people coming to the airport and parking their cars while they get a break from the cold.

Coming up in March when the flights go to five times per week to Mesa, then we've got the two per week to Florida, and then you throw the Sun Country flight in there, it's a charter flight to Laughlin about once a month or so. When that comes in that really overflows our parking lot.

Towle suggests that if you are from the St. Cloud metro area you have a friend drop you off at the airport, instead of leaving your car parked out there if you are flying in the next few months. There is a plan to eventually expand the parking lot.

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