If a route has a high load factor, it means that there's a strong desire for people to travel to that particular destination. High load factors also mean that there is a great likelihood that demand for that route exceeds the number of seats available on flights to that particular destination.
For the month of June, load factors on departing flights reached 87 percent. That means only 13 percent of seats leaving RDU that month were empty, a very low number. Arriving flights were nearly 84 percent full. Meaning that the number of travelers in and out of RDU is only limited by the number of seats available by the airlines.
Read this month's Airport Director editorial to learn more on load factors.
Air Service Notes
RDU has also seen other air service changes related to airlines changing the size of the aircraft on certain routes that have experienced high load factors. United Airlines has increased the aircraft size on one route from a 70-seat Embraer 170 to a 120-seat Airbus 319. Continental Airlines recently increased the size of its 8:35 a.m. Houston flight from a 50-seat Embraer 145 to a 114-seat Boeing 737-500.
Airlines are also increasing options for travelers. Delta Air Lines now has four daily flights between RDU and Minneapolis.
Also this spring, Delta Air Lines began six-day-a-week-service to Los Angeles, giving RDU it's first direct connection to the West Coast in several years. Air Canada Jazz also added a fourth daily flight between RDU and Toronto.
Delta Celebrates 40 at RDU
On Tuesday, June 15, Delta Air Lines celebrated 40 years of service at RDU with a daylong celebration on the Terminal 2 concourse. Delta Air Lines was the fourth airline to begin service from RDU. Of those four, it is the only airline to retain its original name over the course of the years.
The airline held a ceremony at 8:20 a.m., the exact moment of the first departure to Chicago 40 years prior. Delta Vice President for SkyMiles Jeff Robertson, as well as Airport Director John Brantley, spoke to commemorate the event. Throughout the day, Delta gave away 40,000 frequent flier miles to one passenger on each of its outbound flights.
Delta Air Lines operates 41 daily flights to nine cities.