Raleigh-Durham International Airport broke its record for most customers when a little more than 11 million people traveled through the airport in 2016.
This tops the airport’s previous record, set in 2000, of 10.4 million passengers. It also represents a 10.4 percent increase in passengers from 2015.
The record also surpasses the highest annual passenger count when RDU was a hub for American Airlines, which was 9.9 million in 1992. RDU ceased being a hub for American Airlines in 1996.
“We are excited to be connecting so many of our region’s air travelers to the people and places they care about most,” said Michael Landguth, RDU president and CEO. “It’s a testament to the strength of our region and the nine airlines that serve 47 nonstop destinations from RDU.”
Every airline at RDU recorded growth in 2016, particularly United, Allegiant, Frontier and Delta, according to the airport.
Several new flights also kicked off in 2016, including the biggest announcement – Delta’s addition of a nonstop flight from RDU to Paris.
A few more flights are expected in 2017. Delta will launch nonstop flights to Austin in March and Seattle in June and will upgrade its Paris service to a larger plane in June. American Airlines will also upgrade the aircraft for its daily nonstop service from RDU to London-Heathrow in March. Allegiant will begin twice-weekly service to New Orleans in February.
Airline passenger growth at RDU is expected to slow to 1 percent in 2017, in line with national airline forecasts, RDU officials said.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-829-4845: @KTrogdon