Jan. 01--Passenger traffic at Richmond International Airport declined 1.8 percent in November, compared with the same month a year ago, thanks to the calendar.
The airport's November traffic undershot last year's because some of the Thanksgiving travel days fell in December this year, the Capitol Region Airport Commission said Tuesday.
That same calendar quirk should, however, give a boost to the capital region field's December traffic, according to the commission.
Last year's late Thanksgiving holiday pushed two big travel days -- the Sunday and Monday after the holiday -- into December, said Troy Bell, the airport's director of marketing and air service development.
"While November loses the busy Sunday and Monday return days after the holiday, December gains the same," Bell said. "After the fast start, RIC is expected to report a gain in December."
The airport commission reported that Richmond International handled 257,367 travelers in November, compared with 262,146 in the same month of 2012.
For the calendar year through November, passenger traffic at RIC increased slightly -- 0.3 percent -- with 2,930,316 travelers using the eastern Henrico County field during the period in 2013, compared with 2,922,780 during the same time in 2012, the commission said.
Delta Air Lines was the Richmond market share leader in November with 32.2 percent of air travelers, followed by US Airways with 20.8 percent and United Airlines with 17.5 percent.
In November, cargo moving through Richmond International decreased 9.7 percent -- to 9.0 million pounds -- from the same period a year ago. For the calendar year through November, however, cargo was up 12.2 percent.
The weekly number of seats the airlines serving Richmond International have scheduled for January is up 3.4 percent compared with the same month a year ago, and up 2.3 percent for February, the airport said. Those months are typically the slowest of the year for the airport.