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Two flights added Sunday at Columbia Regional Airport to meet holiday travel demand

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, and to meet the demand of the increased amount travelers, American Airlines added two flights departing from Columbia for Sunday, according to Mike Parks, COU airport manager.

Parks said that even though the holidays are a busier time for travel, COU doesn’t see a large influx of passengers compared to any other time of the year.

Parks said the number of passengers has been increasing every year in the last 10 years.

According to COU commercial service passenger records, there were 64,400 passengers flying out of Columbia in 2016.

So far this year, there were 70,048 passengers flying out of Columbia.

Parks said the large increase is mainly because of the addition of another airline, United Airlines, and an additional travel destination, Denver, that started in August.

But the numbers show that even before the additions, more people were flying out of Columbia than the year before.

Parks said a reason for the increased amount of passengers during times when the airport did not have any large additions is because American Airlines was offering more flight connections.

As far as what is next for COU in the next five years, Parks said they are looking to add more travel destinations to the current three places they offer now.

Parks said at this time, there are no updates to give about the new terminal.

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