Raleigh-Durham International Airport: A record crushing year – 11.6 million people fly through RDU in 2017

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From Raleigh-Durham International Airport — January 23, 2018

RDU Airport, N.C. – More people than ever before traveled through Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) during 2017, breaking last year’s record by a half-million people. RDU counted 11.6 million total passengers (arriving/departing) in 2017, a 5.6 percent increase compared to 2016.

“We are grateful that Central North Carolina is responding so well to new flights at RDU,” said Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Landguth. “Affordable fares and lots of nonstop options powered our growth in 2017. As we look ahead, we are encouraged by strong demand that will fuel growth in 2018 and beyond.”

In 2017, air carriers added nine new routes including nonstop service to San Francisco aboard Virgin America (part of Alaska Airlines). Two new cities were added to the RDU route map: Austin (via Delta and Frontier) and New Orleans (via Allegiant and Southwest).

Other new routes included:

  • Delta to Seattle, Nashville and Newark
  • Allegiant to Cincinnati
  • Frontier to Las Vegas

Delta Air Lines remains RDU’s largest airline by market share at 30.8 percent followed by American at 26.3 percent and Southwest at 20.05 percent. Allegiant grew the most in 2017 with 26.8 percent year-over-year growth. The average overall load factor, or percentage of seats filled was 83 percent, an increase in the highest load factor in 5 years.

International passenger traffic grew by 28.9 percent compared to 2017 and the number of charter flights also grew by 24.4 percent.

About the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority operates Raleigh-Durham International Airport. In 2017, 11.6 million passengers, about 32,000 people per day, flew through RDU. With 49 nonstop destinations and 10 airlines, RDU connects central North Carolina to the people and places that matter most. RDU powers our region’s economy with an $8.5 billion annual economic impact that supports 5,000 jobs on campus and 20,000 jobs regionally. RDU has the lowest average airfare of multi-airline airports in North Carolina and was named the best connected medium hub airport by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Aviation in 2016 and 2017.

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