New service by several North Terminal airlines and by Delta’s Sky Team partner Virgin Atlantic contributed to the growth, according to the Michigan gateway.
“The second half of 2015 came in very strong, with solid month-over-month increases,” admits CEO Thomas Naughton.
“A very encouraging sign for our regional economy is growth in the number of customers who are beginning or ending their trip in Detroit.”
DTW's O&D traffic has soared by 9% per since the beginning of summer 2015 – a full percentage point ahead of the rest of the country, according to data from International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Since 2013, local passengers going to Boston have increased 86%, to New Orleans 77%, and to Seattle 42%, largely driven by new, non-stop air service offered to those destinations.
“Connecting passengers have value because accommodating them requires employees and stimulates a demand for goods and services,” says Naughton. “However, origination-destination traffic means we are offering our local residents more options and generates visitor spending as well.”
A considerable amount of new, non-stop airline service was added in 2014/2015, notes DTW.
The new services included Virgin Atlantic to London Heathrow; JetBlue to Boston and Fort Lauderdale; Alaska Airlines to Seattle; Frontier Airlines to Orlando; and Spirit Airlines to Boston, New Orleans, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Atlanta.
Total passenger traffic increased by 926,557 in 2015 or 2.8% over calendar year 2014 and 4% for the month of December. Aircraft landings and take-offs declined 0.4% for December and 3.4% for the year.
• In 2015, Detroit Metropolitan Airport welcomed more than three times the population of the State of Michigan or the equivalent of every man, woman and child in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.