Liset Márquez, Staff Writer
Created: 02/27/2012 04:21:58 PM PST
ONTARIO – L.A./Ontario International Airport is already starting 2012 on a downward spiral, with one official saying the trend is likely to continue through the first half of the year.
Los Angeles World Airports on Monday released passenger figures that shows overall traffic at ONT is down 7.3 percent from last year.
In January, domestic passenger traffic fell 7 percent compared to January 2011.
ONT saw 332,930 passengers fly to, or out of, the airport last month, a drop from the 358,380 that came through a year before.
ONT also had a 20 percent decline in international traffic in January compared to January 2011.
During the same time frame, Los Angeles International Airport’s traffic increased by about 5.4 percent.
LAWA owns and operates ONT and LAX.
“With airlines continuing to cut seats at ONT, it’s no surprise that passenger is continuing to decline in 2012,” Ontario City Manager Chris Hughes said.
“The trend is likely to continue as LAX gains the market share.”
Ontario officials have been pushing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAWA officials to either transfer control of ONT or amend the joint-powers agreement between the two cities.
LAWA officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this month, LAWA officials announced the launch of a web page to provide the organization’s take on ONT.
In the past, officials at LAWA have cited the economy and the decline in air service as the main factors for the drop in passenger traffic at ONT.
LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey recently stated that the agency is working on bringing in a new marketing consultant “with a fresh approach in marketing the airport.”
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