SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The executive director admits that Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport had the most expensive flights out of its competing Upstate New York airports, but he claims those days are over.

Jason Terreri says, “Our airfares have been dropping faster than anybody else’s, so we are no longer the most expensive. We are right in line where we need to be.”

CenterState CEO’s Vice President Kevin Schwab agrees. He says, “Syracuse has had to really work hard, not only to get new service, but to seek competitive airfares here. I will say we have seen a real shift in that in recent years.”

The airport credits the addition of Allegiant and Frontier airlines, known for offering cheaper flights, with helping pull prices down.

But the airport management isn’t done.

Terreri and his team are constantly selling Syracuse to new airlines and asking its existing airlines to add service, either more options of the same flight or new nonstop destinations.

Terreri has a lot of data he can share with airline executives, like how many people are flying to what city, but what he doesn’t know is the reason: vacation or business.

To fill in those gaps, the airport created a survey for business travelers.

Schwab is asking CenterState CEO’s members to take advantage of it.

Schwab says, “To the degree that we have more have competitive air service and access to all parts of the country, all parts of the globe, their businesses operate better. They become more competitive.”

The focus is adding nonstop destination cities to the 24 Syracuse already offers.

Terreri says, “We do a great job on the east coast, north and south, but there are some holes: Dallas, Houston, Salt Lake City.”

“We did not have nonstop service to Denver, but efforts with the airport, and our members working together, have resulted in two airlines nonstop to Denver.”

The survey is open until January 31 and is available here.

For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan

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