ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to lessen, people are returning to traveling, which stands true at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.

According to officials at GRB, passenger traffic rose 14.2% in 2022, a statistic that Airport Director Marty Piette is happy with.

“It’s good to see people return to travel,” said Piette. “Planes leaving GRB are averaging 90% full, which is a very substantial percentage.”

In response to the increased demand, airlines are increasing flight frequency and plane size at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.

In February, Delta will be using a larger, multi-class aircraft for one of its GRB flights to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Depending on the aircraft version used, the capacity will range between 126 to 162 seats.

“Increased capacity, including more seating options, is great for travelers,” added Piette. “Atlanta is a major hub for Delta. You can literally get anywhere in the world from there.”

Delta is set to add a third daily flight to another one of its hubs, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The plane used will be upgraded to a CRJ 900, seating 76 passengers.

“Detroit is a quick and easy connection for those flying to the east coast,” stated Piette. “Flights to Detroit have consistently been full, so it’s good to see another flight added.”

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach echoed Piette’s enthusiasm about the increase in air travel, stating, “even if you are not a traveler, the economic impact of travel is substantial.”

“It’s not only the front door to our community but one of our economic engines, with local businesses ranging from hotels to gas stations to restaurants and tourist attractions benefiting from travelers,” concluded Streckenbach.