Fresno airport passenger traffic up 6.4% last year

2011 passenger traffic rises.2011 passenger traffic rises.Travel picked up at Fresno Yosemite International Airport last year with a 6.4 percent increase in passenger traffic over the year before.

In 2011, more than 1.2 million passengers traveled through the airport. In 2010, that number was 1.18 million.

The latest year was the third-highest traffic year in FYI's nearly 70-year history. Passenger traffic peaked in 2007 with more than 1.3 million passengers, while 2006 came in second with 1.28 million.

Much of the surge is attributed to the return of non-stop service to Guadalajara, Mexico offered through Volaris and AeroMexico, both which began flights out of Fresno in April.

That service alone accounted for nearly 106,000 passengers traveling to and from Guadalajara from April through December.

Air cargo volume also increased over 2010. Last year, 11,000 tons of cargo were transported through FYI compared to 9,000 the year before, an increase of 14.12 percent.

The year ahead is likely to see even more gains with the recent announcement by Alaska Airlines to launch twice-daily nonstop service between Fresno and San Diego beginning June 4.

In all, nine carriers fly in and out of Fresno with around 40 daily domestic and international departures from FYI.