Oakland Airport traffic soars to recent high

Passenger growth surged at the Oakland International Airport last month, giving the airport its busiest May in eight years, Port of Oakland officials said Friday.

May passenger traffic totaled just over 1 million travelers, which was an increase of 5.8 percent, or 54,591 passengers, over May 2015, according to the port.

May marked the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year traffic growth at the airport, port officials said.

“We are very pleased to witness this continued upward pattern as the busy summer travel season gets underway,” airport director Bryant Francis said in a statement.

Francis said, “There is a growing awareness of the Oakland airport as a major air access channel, not just for the East Bay but for the entire Bay Area.” He said, “This is echoed by our air carrier partners through the addition of flights and new nonstop routes and from our customers through making ever greater use of the steadily-increasing number of available seats.” Airport officials attributed the passenger increase in May to the launch of the U.S. summer travel season and the inauguration of the first Oakland-to-London service on Norwegian Air.

The airline has also launched service in the past two years to Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden.

Airport officials said passenger traffic growth is likely to increase again in June because Southwest Airlines introduced new daily Oakland service this month to Long Beach, Reno-Tahoe and St. Louis, adding more than 1,000 daily outbound seats.