Southwest Airlines, which accounts for two-thirds of passenger traffic at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport, will phase out 12% of its weekly flights by September, airport officials said.
The carrier's decision to trim 82 flights from its weekly schedule is expected to further decrease already-declining passenger numbers at the commuter hub. The drop from 712 to 630 weekly flights will mean a 6% reduction in total flights leaving the airport.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority presented the proposal last week to airport commissioners. "Southwest Airlines has been pretty steady for years," Commissioner Don Brown told the Burbank Leader. "For them to take a hit like this is a concern, but it's not a surprise."
Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said he would not discuss specifics until the carrier officially released its schedule.
"What we've been doing for a couple of years now is optimizing our entire schedule," Mainz said. "We're doing that all over the system, and it's really a matter of matching supply with demand and reallocating operations to airports where we're doing well."
On Thursday, Southwest Airlines Co. reported $11 million in first-quarter profits.
Total passenger traffic at Bob Hope in February was down 4.9% from the previous year, dragging the year-to-date figure down to 1.6%, airport records show.
Last year's number of passenger fell to 4.6 million, the lowest in eight years, and down 13% from 5.3 million in 2008. Passenger volume peaked at more than 5.9 million in 2007.