2016 Marks All-Time Passenger Record at Raleigh-Durham International Airport



RDU Airport, N.C. – Say what? You read it right. More customers than ever chose RDU to start their vacation or business trip in 2016. All in, 11,049,143 people traveled through RDU, passing the 11-million passenger mark for the first time in the airport’s history.


“We are excited to be connecting so many of our region’s air travelers to the people and places they care about most, “said Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority President and CEO Michael Landguth. “It’s a testament of the strength of our region, and the 9 airlines that serve 47 nonstop destinations from RDU. Because of these partnerships, we’re able to serve all customers, from the business road warrior to the budget-conscious vacation traveler.”


Arriving and departing passengers grew by 10.4 percent over 2015 with the airport recording 5.51 million arriving passengers and 5.54 departing passengers. December’s passenger numbers were also 5.15 percent higher than 2015, marking the 34th consecutive month of passenger growth at RDU.


This year’s record passenger count surpasses the previous record of 10,438,585 set in 2000 and the second highest count of 10,037,424 in 2007.  For comparison, the highest total passenger count during American Airlines’ hub operations at RDU was 9.9 million.


Every airline at RDU recorded growth during 2016. Air carriers experiencing the highest rate of growth during the year include United, Allegiant, Frontier and Delta. United added three new daily flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, greatly increasing their presence at RDU.


Allegiant built on the success of its first year of operation at RDU in 2015 by increasing passenger counts to its three Florida destinations. Frontier Airlines added nonstop service to Atlanta, Orlando and Philadelphia in 2016.


Delta Air Lines, already the airport’s largest carrier by market share, also increased passenger counts during 2016. The carrier also added nonstop service to Paris-Charles de Gaulle and initiated three daily flights to Newark and Washington DC (DCA).


Following Delta Air Line’s 29.9 percent market share at RDU are American Airlines at 27.2 percent and Southwest Airlines at 21.0 percent.


New routes will be added at RDU during 2017. Delta Air Lines will launch nonstop flights Austin in March, Seattle in June, and upgrade Paris service to a B-767 in June. American Airlines will be upgrading RDU’s daily nonstop service to London-Heathrow to a B-777 in March. And finally, Allegiant will commence twice-weekly service to New Orleans in February. Airline growth at RDU will slow in 2017, in line with airline forecasts nationally.


About the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and its 300+ strong workforce operates and manages Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the primary air travel gateway to central North Carolina. The airport serves more than 11 million passengers each year, averaging more than 30,000 customers every day and is home to more than 5,000 employees. RDU contributes more than $8.5 billion and 20,000 jobs to the region’s economy each year. RDU has the lowest average airfare among commercial airports in North Carolina (compared to NC commercial airports with more than 250,000 enplanements annually). The Airport Authority has won the Triangle Business Journal’s Heathiest Employer of the Triangle for the past three years straight. For more information about RDU, visit rdu.com or follow the airport @RDUAirport on Twitter.