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Detroit Metropolitan Airport ends 2018 with an increase of half a million passengers

-- Highest number of passengers since 2007

News Releases
Feb 04 2019

DETROIT (Feb. 4, 2019) – Passenger traffic at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) grew to 35,236,676 in 2018 compared to 2017, an increase of more than 535,000 travelers, according to data released by the airport’s Department of Financial Planning & Analysis. The 2018 total is the highest number of passengers at DTW since 2007. The 1.5 percent year-over-year increase can be attributed in part to new domestic and international service.

Several new international flights were added 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. 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 nonstop 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,” said Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) 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 – or ‘O & D’ – traffic, is contributing to the jump in total passengers. It is expected the final 2018 O & D data will show a nearly 5 percent increase for the year.

“The continuous growth in travelers shows that Detroit’s economy is strong and Detroit Metropolitan Airport plays a critical role in this region,” said WCAA Board Chair Nabih H. 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 program transformation. Plus, there will be more reasons to fly from DTW. This month, Spirit 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, and Spirit will begin service to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina in May. The list goes on; however, one of the most anticipated additions in 2019 is Delta’s service to Honolulu, Hawaii, which begins in June. Previously, Honolulu was DTW’s third largest market without nonstop service from Detroit.

Visit for more detailed statistical information.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 35 million passengers in 2018 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs.  With service from 14 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,100 flights per day to and from more than 140 non-stop destinations on four continents. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America. DTW is operated by the Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport – an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility.  The Airport Authority is entirely self- sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations.  Visit for more information.


For additional information, members of the media may contact:

Erica Donerson – [email protected] or Lisa Gass – [email protected]

Media Line – (734) 247-7379

MEDIA LINE: (734) 247-7379