On the heels of a record-breaking year when more than 1 million passengers flew through Wilmington International Airport, a recent analysis of available seats at ILM indicates the airport could be in the midst of another year of best-ever performance.
On Thursday, airport officials announced that available seats on flights at ILM from January to September 2023 are up 32% compared to the same time last year, landing ILM in the top spot among North Carolina’s airports and third in the country.
On average, North Carolina airports have experienced a 14% increase in seat capacity during the first three quarters of 2023, according to the release, which cited an average of 10% growth in seat capacity nationally.
In the last year, ILM netted nine new nonstop flights, bringing its number of nonstop destinations to 17. The flurry of new flights commenced last June, when low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines launched its first routes to New Haven, Connecticut; Orlando, Florida; and Baltimore. Today, Avelo offers service to seven East Coast destinations from ILM, making Wilmington the largest non-base operator in Avelo’s lineup
of more than 40 airports nationwide.
In November 2022, another new airline joined the ranks at ILM when low-cost carrier Sun Country Airlines announced nonstop seasonal service to and from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport beginning next month.
Airport officials credited these new airlines, along with legacy carriers American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines utilizing larger aircraft, for the leap in seat capacity.
“Thank you to the four airlines that were here last year, American, Avelo, Delta, and United, for increasing capacity at ILM and to Sun Country for joining the list of airline offerings in 2023,” airport director Jeff Bourk said in the release.