Travel through Medford airport picked up in February

The Medford airport saw its second-busiest February on record with 41,307 travelers passing through its gates.

Last month's count was surpassed only by 43,970 passengers in February 2008.

"I was thrilled to be up, because we were comparing with a Leap Year in 2012," said Airport Director Bern Case. "The economy is easing back, but it hasn't been great."

Alaska Air Group unit Horizon Air, which accounted for more than half the passengers, posted a 4.1 percent jump over last February, while United Express had 9.6 percent growth. Delta Connection was off 9.6 percent, while Allegiant Air, which has dropped flights to Arizona and Oakland, was down 13.3 percent.

For the first two months of the year, overall passenger traffic is up 1.8 percent.

The 17 daily departures is up one from a year ago, and Allegiant plans to restart flights to Mesa, Ariz., in May. However, Case said the leisure travel company does not intend to add Oakland back to its destinations.

United Express will incorporate a third flight to Denver this summer.

"Sometimes it's shrunk to one, so this is very positive," Case said.

— Greg Stiles

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