Last year was a great year for your preferred airport-the Greater Peoria Regional Airport. We ended 2004 with a 24 percent increase in total passengers, compared to 2003. More than 83,000 new passengers used our airport as a gateway to central Illinois and the rest of the world. Thank you.
In 2004, we launched new non-stop service to Las Vegas on Allegiant Air and Dallas-Fort Worth on American Eagle. We announced a third flight from Northwest Airlines to Minneapolis and an additional flight to Chicago on American Eagle, giving Peoria 10 daily flights to Chicago on American and United. In addition, we ended the year by announcing a fourth flight on Delta to Atlanta.
Here are some fast facts: Delta had a 21 percent increase, Northwest improved by 41 percent with its third flight, United observed a 21 percent increase in its service to Chicago, more than 55,000 passengers used the new non-stop service to Las Vegas, and more than 22,000 passengers used the new non-stop service to Dallas.
The best news was our great low fares. Prior to the national announcement of SimpliFares, Delta launched a similar low fare philosophy in our market during the middle of 2004, which caused "ripple effect." American and the other carriers soon matched Delta's fares. All of that, combined with free parking, contributed to the number of opportunities central Illinoisans were offered to schedule their getaway packages from Peoria.
In 2005, our fares will be even better, with Delta's SimpliFares making it easier and more affordable for last-minute walk-ups. Customers booking on Delta.com can choose refundable or non-refundable tickets and save even more by purchasing tickets three, seven, or 14 days in advance of travel, with no Saturday night stay over. Additionally, with SimpliFares, Delta has reduced the ticket change fee to $50 from $100, which will put more money back in your pocket.
Thanks for a great year, and we'll be working hard to make 2005 even better. IBI