Passengers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport grow by nearly a million in 2015

New routes/competition fuel increase, passengers beginning or ending trip in Detroit up 9%

News Releases
Feb 02

DETROIT (Feb 2, 2016)--Total passenger traffic at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) increased by nearly a million travelers in 2015 to 33,440,112, according to data released today by the airport’s Department of Financial Planning & Analysis. New service by several North Terminal airlines and by Delta’s Sky Team partner Virgin Atlantic contributed to the growth.

“The second half of 2015 came in very strong, with solid month-over-month increases,” said 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.”

Travelers starting or ending their trip at DTW, or origination-destination (O & D) passengers, are up an average of 9% 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,” said Naughton. “However, originationdestination 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. Virgin Atlantic started service to London Heathrow. JetBlue began service to Boston and Fort Lauderdale. Alaska Airlines launched service to Seattle. Frontier Airlines started service to Orlando, and Spirit Airlines initiated service 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.


Michael Conway
Erica Donerson
Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
Wayne County Airport Authority
Lisa Gass
Media Relations Manager
Wayne County Airport Authority