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March 13, 2019

Philadelphia International Airport sees biggest jump in passengers since 2008

Travel Business
Stock_Carroll - Philadelphia International Airport Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Philadelphia International Airport.

A 7.1 percent annual increase in passengers at Philadelphia International Airport marks the strongest growth PHL has experienced in more than a decade, the airline announced this week.

Last year, 31,691,956 passengers traveled through PHL, the highest total since the airport recorded 31.8 million in 2008.

The annual increase is the first year-to-year growth since 2015 and the highest percentage increase since 10.5 percent growth was posted in 2005.

The all-time high for passenger traffic, set in 2007, is 32.2 million.

Airline officials attributed the uptick to new air service added by carriers including American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Those five carriers collectively launched non-stop flights to 27 new destinations in 2018. The airport also added Irish carrier Aer Lingus last year.

International passengers increased six percent from 2017 to 4,246,171. That was the largest percentage increase since a 17.1 percent surge in 2004.

Cargo tonnage jumped 20 percent over the previous year, reaching 555,327 and eclipsing 500,000 for the first time since 2008.

“Our airport team continues to work tirelessly with our airline, tourism and business partners to attract new air service whether it’s more flights to more cities by our established carriers or bringing in a new airline,” said airport CEO Chellie Cameron. “Our 2018 numbers show how the team’s efforts produced real results. We are encouraged by the upswing in passengers, operations and cargo handling and are eager to maintain this positive trend.”