Increase in passengers shows signs of stabilization at QC International Airport

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MOLINE, Illinois - The year 2018 was a successful year for the Quad City International Airport.

There was an increase in passengers by more than 6%, according to new data released by airport executives.

That means there are more people flying into and out of the airport.

Airport leaders say airlines have gotten "really good" at filling empty seats on planes.

Executive Director of the Metropolitan Airport Authority, Ben Leischner, says that keeping those seats filled helps to keep ticket prices down.

When ticket prices are low, more families book vacations, and more people skip the drive from the Quad City Area to Chicago, and choose to fly.

The stabilization comes after nearly a decade of a downward spiral.

2018 was the first year the airport saw an increase in passengers since 2010.

It is also the most promising sign of stabilization at the airport since AirTran left the Quad City in 2012, according to Leischner.

The stabilization means good things for the airport, in terms of potential growth.

"It could be bigger airplanes flying to existing markets, it could be increased frequency to markets already served, or it could be the kind of exciting piece, which is new markets." Leischner told News 8.

Still though, the actual number of passengers flying in and out of the airport is down 1% from the year 2016. Leaders say that just means more work needs to be done as the stabilization continues.

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