20--Fueled by a bevy of new flights, Pittsburgh International Airport ended 2016 with its highest traveler volume in eight years. In all, 8.3 million passengers boarded or got off planes at the Findlay airport last year, a 2.2 percent increase over 2015 totals, the Allegheny County Airport Authority announced Friday. It marks the third straight year that passenger volume has increased after years of decline caused by cutbacks from US Airways, now part of American Airlines, and huge losses in connecting traffic. The 8.3 million travelers who used the airport last year add up to the most since 2008, when 8.7 million passengers boarded or got off planes. "I feel like we've turned the corner," said Christina Cassotis, the airport authority's CEO. "Watching years of decline air tickets online and then some leveling out, I feel like we're finally on the upturn." With the addition of ultra low-fare carriers like Allegiant and Frontier at the airport, as well as new transatlantic service beginning this summer to Iceland and Frankfurt, Germany, Ms. Cassotis believes passenger volumes will continue to grow. "I best airfare think we will see passengers continue to be stimulated in this market, meaning people who wouldn't have traveled are now going to start traveling because of services that are now available." Over the last two years, Pittsburgh International has been able to increase the number of nonstop destinations served from 37 to 68, although some of those are seasonable in nature. The airport was able to post the gains despite continuing cuts by American, which is ending nonstop service to Los Angeles next month and has trimmed other flights. American's traffic was down 14 percent last year. But that was offset by big gains by Allegiant, which was up 121.6 percent.

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