Detroit Metro Airport sees most passengers in decade

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
Passengers wait in line at the Delta counter to check in at the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus in January.

Romulus — Detroit Metropolitan Airport saw its highest number of passengers in more than a decade last year.

Passenger traffic grew to 35,236,676 in 2018, the most traffic the airport has serviced since 2007. The mean the airport had an increase of more than a half million passengers in 2018 compared to the prior year, officials announced this week.

“Customers have a choice when they fly,” Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton said in a statement. “We’re working hard to offer flights that have a wide appeal and deliver an excellent customer experience in our terminals.”

DTW added several new international flights in 2018, including WOW Air's daily service to Reykjavik, Iceland, and Aeromexico's addition of service to Leon and Queretaro. In December, Spirit added the destination of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Several domestic routes were also added in 2018, including Delta’s service to San Jose, California, and Spirit’s nonstop service to Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Airport officials say the jump in traffic can also be attributed to an increase in outbound passengers living in or visiting Metro Detroit.

“The continuous growth in travelers shows that Detroit’s economy is strong, and Detroit Metropolitan Airport plays a critical role in this region,” said Nabih H. Ayad, Wayne County Airport Authority's board chairman. 

Ayad said the DTW's annual economic impact is estimated at $10.2 billion, and that it is responsible for more than 86,000 jobs across the state.

Additional flight destinations are expected this year.

Spirit this month will offer nonstop service to Austin, Texas. In March, Delta will add flights to Bozeman, Montana. In April, Frontier will offer service to Las Vegas. In May, Spirit will begin service to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN