Operator, Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA), attributes the upturn to the addition of several new international flights in 2018.
WOW Air became the first new international carrier in DTW’s North Terminal since it opened nearly a decade ago, offering daily service to Reykjavik, Iceland.
Spirit made it easier to get away by starting service to the popular vacation destination Montego Bay, Jamaica in December 2018.
And, Aeromexico has dramatically expanded at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, adding more routes at DTW than any other airport outside Mexico.
In 2018, the airline added service to Leon and Queretaro, complementing the existing Mexico City and Monterrey routes.
And in May 2019, flights to Guadalajara and San Luis Potosi are scheduled to begin.
Several domestic routes were also added last year, including Spirit’s non-stop service to Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida, as well as Delta’s San Jose, California route.
“Our 2018 passenger total is the highest since 2007, when Detroit Metropolitan Airport welcomed 36 million passengers,” enthuses WCAA's new CEO, Chad Newton.
“Customers have a choice when they fly. We’re working hard to offer flights that have a wide appeal and deliver an excellent customer experience in our terminals.”
The number of outbound passengers visiting or residing in the Detroit area, also known as origin and destination is contributing to the jump in total passengers.
It is expected the final 2018 O&D data will show a nearly 5% increase for the year.
“The continuous growth in travellers shows that Detroit’s economy is strong and Detroit Metropolitan Airport plays a critical role in this region,” notes WCAA Board chair, Nabih Ayad, Esq.
“DTW’s annual economic impact is estimated at $10.2 billion, and the airport is responsible for sustaining more than 86,000 jobs across Michigan.
"That’s why the DTW team won’t stop striving for excellence – inside the terminals and on the airfield.”
Last year, nine nursing rooms opened on the grounds of DTW. This year, new dining options will be offered at the North Terminal, as part of the first phase of a nearly $21 million food and beverage programme transformation.
One of the most anticipated new routes of 2019 is Delta’s service to Honolulu, Hawaii, which begins in June. Previously,Honolulu was DTW’s third largest market without non-stop service from Detroit.