We too saw a record amount of clients in Jackson Hole and Pinedale Wyoming for the 2018 season and we’re off and running for the 2019 season! I thought I’d share that RDA, the area hotels and airlines are booking up for 2019 season so please consider that as you prepare for your summer vacation.
2018 passenger numbers top 2017, the previous apex, by 11 percent.
By Mike Koshmrl Jan 16, 2019
Jackson Hole Airport enplanements
Passenger numbers at Jackson Hole Airport rose 11 percent in 2018, the busiest year in the institution’s 50-year history.Jackson Hole Airport just wrapped up the busiest year in its history, setting a new record by a wide margin.
Approximately 391,000 people in 2018 boarded a commercial airliner outside the terminal building that rises from the sagebrush flats in Grand Teton National Park. Overall air traveler numbers were up 11 percent over the previous record-holding year of 2017, Airport Director Jim Elwood said, a jump he attributed to a big winter, more locals flying out of the valley and major gains in air ridership in the shoulder seasons.
“I think the locals are utilizing the airport at a higher percentage than we’ve seen in the past,” Elwood said. “The community also enjoyed quality snow through last winter, especially compared to our other Western communities.”
The airport’s forecasts, Elwood said, are for annual winter air traveler gains in the 5 to 6 percent range, and more tempered growth in the summer: just 1 to 2 percent. In the shoulder seasons, he said, there’s a “good chance” the increases will be even higher.
The month-by-month data from 2018 shows huge jumps in plane ridership during the valley’s offseason. Year over year, November traffic was up a whopping 47 percent, April ridership rose 36 percent and September numbers rose 24 percent.
Elwood surmised that the new shoulder-season activity came from Frontier Airlines’ re-entry into the market last year, which gave travelers a low-cost route to Denver. American Airlines’ decision to start flying out of Jackson Hole year-round also contributed, he said.
Considerably more people passed through Jackson Hole Airport during the summer months, too. July and August experienced 6 and 11 percent growth in ridership, respectively, and went into the log as the busiest two months in airport history.
Over the course of the year there were more seats available flying in and out of Jackson Hole, Elwood said. Partially, he said, this is because Delta Air Lines has moved away from regional jets and now uses mainline jets.
After a few years of declines the overall numbers of wheels-up flights at Jackson Hole Airport also rose in 2018.
The load factor — percentage of seats occupied — at the airport came in around average at 80 percent last year, though month to month it varied widely, from a nadir of 58 percent taken in December to 95 percent full planes in September.
Jackson Hole Airport’s National Park Service landlord also drew record crowds in 2018.
Not counting December numbers — which have not been logged because of the government shutdown — Grand Teton National Park drew 3.44 million people last year. The previous park record was 2017, with 3.32 million visitors.
Editors note: This story has been modified to correct a statistic that confused enplanements versus deplanements at Jackson Hole Airport.
Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067, [email protected] or @JHNGenviro.