They just keep coming.

While you may be tired of reading about a record number of passengers flying into the Punta Gorda Airport each month/year, you may as well get used to it. There is no end in sight for the success of Allegiant Airlines’ foray into the Southwest Florida market via Punta Gorda.

Last week the Charlotte County Airport Authority announced the passenger count for 2018 set a record at 1,577,164. That is about a 22 percent increase over the 1.2 million in 2017. It was punctuated by 131,423 passengers flying into Punta Gorda in December — an improvement of 2.36 percent over December 2017.

Anyone who wonders why the Airport Authority is so cozy with Allegiant needs only to embrace those numbers and listen to Airport Authority Board Chair Pam Seay.

“This has been an outstanding year for the Punta Gorda Airport,” Seay said in a press release. “Not only have we welcomed more travelers to Charlotte County, we’ve continued strong revenue streams, increased our cash reserves and made great progress on important airport projects.”

In other words, they are swimming in cash. And Allegiant, the airport’s only commercial carrier, gets the credit.

The airport’s success seems to have no ceiling. If you believe Allegiant Travel Company President John Redmond, we’ll need to expand the terminal in the next couple of years.

Redmond told a crowd in Punta Gorda last week that, with the help of Allegiant’s planned Sunseeker Resort, the airport should be expanding from 1.5 million passengers to 2 million next year and 5 million in the future.

We better get used to those monthly reports on ever-increasing passenger counts.

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