Lehigh Valley International Airport To Have International Flights

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Ai...

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the first time, Lehigh Valley International Airport passengers could soon be taking direct flights to places like Mexico, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

The authority that runs the cash-strapped and passenger-starved airport Tuesday endorsed a $5 million plan to add a U.S. Customs station that would allow LVIA to have flights out of the country as early as 2014.

Embarking on a multimillion-dollar project will not be easy for the struggling airport.  But the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority supported a plan to accept a $1.5 million state grant and take out loans for $3.5 million to build an inspection station.

The board believes the station will keep thousands of fliers a year from using other airports to go to places like Cancun, San Juan and Montego Bay.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-abe-airport-international-20121218,0,4105822.story

Passenger Traffic Plummets At Lehigh Valley International Airport

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Ai...

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone walking into Lehigh Valley International Airport will notice the shiny new terrazzo floor, the modern glass architecture and the new LV Cafe — the result of a $14 million makeover that took three years.

But what is also noticeable is that lately there are relatively few passengers to enjoy the new amenities.

Passenger traffic has plummeted at LVIA after three airlines left in the past year, and airport administrators will soon announce “austerity” measures that could include job cuts, fee increases and business contract reviews.

Analysts say it’s part of a national trend in which skyrocketing fuel costs have prompted air carriers like American to pull their planes from smaller regional airports. And with no relief in sight for jet fuel prices that are up 443 percent over a decade ago, it’s a situation that’s likely to get worse before it gets better.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-abe-airport-traffic-20121013,0,1104899.story