Don Smithey
Don Smithey

It’s a new year at Des Moines International Airport, but the trend toward more fliers is staying the same.

January passenger numbers at the airport were up 13.3 percent from January of 2012, according to numbers released today. Total passenger activity for the month was 169,540, up from 149,670 in the same month a year ago.

That marks the 30th straight month where the airport has reported a year-over-year increase in passenger activity.  It also falls on the heels of a record 2.08 million people going in and out of the airport in 2012.

Executive Director Don Smithey, who took over in Des Moines in 2010, attributed last year’s record in part to the Southwest Effect of lower fares and increased competition among carriers. Southwest Airlines Co. began operating out of Des Moines in September.

A total of 85,070 passengers flew out of Des Moines during the month, and 84,470 flew in.

A total of 10,810 passengers flew on Southwest. U.S. Airways saw a 127.7 percent increase in service with 19,551 passengers. United, the largest carrier in the month, had 48,055 passengers, a 15.2 percent decrease. Delta, the second-largest carrier, had an 8.6 percent decrease, with 40,704 passengers.