June 26, 2009

Traffic increasing at Milwaukee airport

Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport could turn out to be a regional alternative to Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports, airline industry watchers say.

Republic Airways, which is purchasing Midwest Airlines, plans to restore some of the routes out of Milwaukee that Midwest had been forced to drop, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.

In addition, AirTran Airways has expanded its market share at Mitchell from 5.1 percent in 2004 to18.9 percent while Southwest Airlines is set to launch 12 daily flights from Mitchell this November.

Consumer travel expert Rudy Maxa predicts a fare war when Southwest moves into Milwaukee.

By necessity, the other airlines have to match Southwest's lower fares, Maxa said.

I've always thought this has been the most overlooked airport in the United States, says Terry Trippler, a travel consultant in Minneapolis. I really think that Milwaukee is going to become the third Chicago airport.