Burlington airport continues to grow

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(Host) Efforts are under way to expand the number of airlines flying out of Vermont’s largest airport.

Brian Searles is director of Burlington International Airport. He says officials have been searching for an airline to replace Independence Air, which went out of business in 2005.

(Searles) “We believe we’ve made a good case to one airline in particular. We are talking to them regularly. But we have no way of predicting exactly when they might make a decision.”

(Host) Searles says there are many variables that influence whether an airline enters a new market, including the cost of fuel.

The Burlington airport has continued to grow, even after losing the service provided by Independence Air.

The airport used to rely on Canada for 20 percent of its traffic. Searles says Canadians now account for 35 percent of Burlington’s business.

(Searles) “We have very good service level right now and it is creating enough competition so we have a price advantage, particularly with Montreal.”

(Host) The airport expects continued expansion. It is planning for more than $235 million in improvements over the next ten years.

Searles says that would  create 850 new jobs at or near the airport.

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