Airport traffic numbers up 8 percent in May

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - More people are flying into and out of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.

Figures released Wednesday show an increase of 4 percent for the year, along with an 8 percent spike in May of 2017 compared to May of 2016.

One of the reasons for the increase in May is the availability of more flights at the airport.

The airport is in the midst of a blitz of flights on Saturdays, which it is dubbing "Super Summer Saturdays."

"We know there's been a lot of people because we've been out here on Saturdays and we've seen more people in the terminal, but we're excited to see what the numbers are going to be for the month of June, but May showed a positive increase, " said Parker McClellan, airport executive director.

Along with the increase in the number of flights, passenger load factors have also increased meaning the planes have fewer empty seats on them. That's good news because one of the ways airlines measure success of a particular route is the passenger loads. The higher the passenger load, the more successful the route.