(INDIANAPOLIS) – The numbers are in – and they tell a strong story of growth and sustainability in air travel at the Indianapolis International Airport. In 2018, more than 9.4 million passengers flew out of the Indy airport, setting a new all-time record for the Best Airport in North America, and adding more than 620,000 additional passengers to the count compared to the 2017 total.
“The writing was on the wall early on when we were seeing traffic escalating each quarter, and ultimately record-breaking volume across 11 months in 2018,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. “This passenger activity is the result of many contributing factors, but it’s a collective testament that the growth in flights, destinations, and seat capacity increase the value our airport delivers to the community.”
Rodriguez predicted a tremendous year end in the fall of 2018 as the IAA saw record-breaking enplanements month after month.
Airport officials credit the increase to a number of factors. International flights jumped 28 percent in 2018, and international passenger traffic increased by 77 percent (more than 60,000 international passengers). West Coast connectivity also increased in 2018, with both flights and seat capacity up 45 percent compared to 2017.
Additionally, Allegiant Air launched 500 more flights out of Indianapolis in 2018 compared to 2017, in part due to a new plane based Allegiant established in Indianapolis last February and having increased its seat capacity by 40 percent in the same year.
Total flights were up by 4 percent (more than 300,000 seats) in 2018. Connectivity to new destination markets also increased out of the Indy airport in 2018, with inaugural nonstop routes launching in 2018 to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Charleston (South Carolina), Oakland (California) and Sarasota/Bradenton (Florida).
Additional flights to existing routes also launched in 2018 to Cancun (Southwest Airlines), Seattle (Delta Air Lines), Austin (Frontier Airlines and Southwest), and San Diego (Frontier). Frontier also reinstated two routes to Philadelphia and Fort Meyers.
Spirit Airlines also became the latest airline to announce it will establish service out of Indianapolis, with two new daily, year-round nonstop flights launching in spring 2019 to Las Vegas and Orlando, and a twice-weekly flight launching seasonally to Myrtle Beach this year also.
Indianapolis will also play host to Routes Americas in February 2020, which is expected to draw 800 delegates representing 80 airlines, 300 airports, and 50 tourism authorities. The airport will be heavily leveraging this opportunity to pursue and expand air service out of Indianapolis to both domestic and international destinations that are currently underserved and unserved.
To view the December 2018 Airline Activity Report, click here.