A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CVG experiences continued passenger, cargo growth in 2016; celebrates 70th birthday this month

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) last year achieved its best ranking in the 21-year history of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) airfare report, experienced its best passenger traffic volume since 2005, and achieved a record year for cargo volume in the airport’s 70-year history.
Airfares at CVG declined for the third consecutive year. In the latest DOT report for third quarter, 2016, CVG’s average fare declined 15 percent to $363 round-trip ranking CVG 44th among the top 100 U.S. domestic airports. Over the last two years, the average cost of travel to and from CVG has declined by $170 per passenger.

CVG also experienced its largest passenger growth since 2005. Total passenger traffic through CVG increased 7.1 percent over 2015, while local passengers increased 12.7 percent. This represents more than 675,000 new local passengers year-over-year.

December 2016 was the strongest month for cargo traffic in CVG’s history with 81,500 tons handled. For the first time in its history, CVG experienced annual cargo tonnage of 818,000 (1.6 billion pounds) and has now experienced double digit year-over-year growth in four of the last five years. Since 2011, cargo volume has increased more than 50 percent and CVG continues to be the fastest-growing cargo airport in North America. CVG is the eighth largest cargo airport in North America and 34th in the world.

“The growth we’re experiencing demonstrates our successful efforts at diversifying our carrier base with a strong mix of traditional and low-cost carriers and growing cargo operations,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, CVG. “We’re pleased to see customers in the Tri-State region continue to embrace the added air-serve options and lower airfares.”

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Inside Northern Kentucky: The History of CVG

This special program on CVG, produced by NKyTribune and Prosper Media for Inside Northern Kentucky will be broadcast on KET in February. It will also appear on local public access channels in Kenton County, Boone County, Louisville Metro and Paducah.

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“We launched a new 5-year strategic plan in 2016, and I congratulate the entire CVG team on the tremendous success towards those important strategies,” said J. Michael Schlotman, CVG Board Chairman. “CVG’s strong financial profile is a testament to the airport operating like the business it is. Our mission statement says, ‘we want CVG to be the airport of choice to work for, fly from, and to do business with,’ and these results clearly indicate we are making great strides.”
Airport land development is another key strategy for CVG, which grew in 2016 with four new land development projects approved for completion in 2017. Wayfair Inc. opened a 900,000 square-foot distribution center on 52 acres of airport property, and DHL opened a new 50-acre aircraft apron expansion providing parking for 16 additional aircraft. A total of 184 acres of airport property will be leased resulting in new economic development activity for the region.

CVG leads the region with nonstop service to 55 destinations and more than 165 peak-day departures. In 2016, CVG added approximately 200,000 new low-cost carrier seats to its product offering and now offers low-cost carrier service to 27 nonstop destinations, including New York City (EWR), San Juan, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
2016 Successes
Passenger & Cargo Metrics

· Served 6.8 million passengers in 2016
· Welcomed 675,000 new local passengers through the front door
· Local passenger traffic increased 12.7%
· Total enplanements increased 7.1%
· Cargo grew 1.8% to a record 1.6 billion pounds
· Eighth largest cargo airport in North America and 34th in the world
Air Service Development

· Added approximately 200,000 new low-cost carrier seats and grew total capacity by 7.3%.
· Allegiant launched new service to Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Baltimore/Washington D.C., New York-Newark and San Juan. Allegiant now serves 15 markets from CVG.
· Frontier launched new service to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Cancun.  Frontier now serves 14 markets from CVG.
· OneJet carrier was added with nonstop service to Pittsburgh.
· American Airlines launched new daily nonstop service to New York – LaGuardia.
· United Airlines announced new daily nonstop service to San Francisco to begin June 8, 2017. United started operating mainline aircraft serving Chicago and Denver markets.
· Largest origin airport on the Vacation Express network with four destinations.
· CVG offers nonstop service to 55 destinations with more than 165 peak-day departures – more than any surrounding airport.
Operational Excellence

· Earned renewal of Safety Act certification for its Airport Security Management Plan.
· Completed annual FAA certification inspection with zero discrepancies (“perfect score” by FAA).
· Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings upgraded CVG’s bond rating.


· CVG has $4.4 billion annual impact on the economy of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky MSA.
· Partnered with Cincinnati Museum Center through Curate My Community Initiative to host more than 90 artifacts for display throughout the airport during museum’s restoration.
· The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce awarded CVG the Unity Award for regional collaboration.
· Worked collaboratively with City of Cincinnati to move historic murals to Duke Energy Convention Center.
· Airplane Viewing Area was upgraded for community to enjoy.
· Awarded two silver Magellan Awards by Travel Weekly for airport performance in social media and travel blog categories.
Customer Experience

· Launched miniature therapy horse program that was a major hit for passengers and media outlets gaining global attention.
· Recognized globally as a leading U.S. airport by SkyTrax World Airport Awards of World Airports Award.  CVG is ranked #2 globally for the World’s Top Airports serving 5 – 10 Million Passengers and the highest ranked airport in the United States. CVG ranked #5 for Best Airport Staff in North America.
· Recognized as Best Airport Amenities by USA Today.
· Opened new children’s play area in Concourse B.
· Opened new 657 square-foot Graeter’s Ice Cream Shop in Concourse A.
· Opened new 760 square-foot CVG Marketplace in Concourse A.
· Local artists performed live art by painting two postmodern pop art murals in Concourse B.
· Partnered with ArtsWave to present free performances showcasing the arts of the region.
Business Development

· Lowered the aircraft landing fee from $2.75 to $2.32 for signatory carriers.
· Approved four new land development projects to be completed in 2017.
· Construction completed on a new 900,000 square foot / 52-acre distribution center for Wayfair, Inc.
· DHL completed construction on a new $108M, 50-acre aircraft apron and ground service equipment maintenance facility.

· Employees and concession partners raised more than $51,000 for United Way.

From CVG Communications

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