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Airport Set New Passenger Record In 2023

By Staff Reports, posted Jan 16, 2024
Sun Country Airlines’ first flight from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport landed at Wilmington International Airport late Thursday morning. (File photo)

Wilmington International Airport set another passenger record in 2023, according to a news release Tuesday.

ILM served 1,317,897 passengers last year, a 21% increase over the prior annual record. “Throughout the year, ILM consistently broke records with eleven months of the year having the most enplanements ever recorded,” the release stated.

The growth comes after the addition of six new nonstop destinations.

Three of the new nonstop, seasonal services are offered by Avelo Airlines – to Tampa, West Palm Beach and Wilmington, Delaware. Delta Air Lines added Boston and Minneapolis-St. Paul, while American Airlines started nonstop service to Miami. ILM’s newest carrier, Sun Country Airlines, touched down with its inaugural flight from Minneapolis in June 2023.

Legacy carriers Delta, American and United airlines also used larger aircraft last year, contributing to increased passengers.

“We have a growing number of airlines and a growing number of nonstops. All the new service, along with our legacy service from American, Delta and United, is great for our community, offering a great mix of service,” stated Jeff Bourk, airport director, in the release. “This increase in seats and record numbers means more choices, more convenience and lower fares."

In 2023, according to the release, ILM was the fastest-growing airport in North Carolina and the fourth fastest-growing airport in the U.S. because of the increased number of seats allocated to ILM from the airlines. ILM had 23% seat capacity growth, while the state average was 14% and the national average was 10%.

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