Demand for air service in the Washington region remained strong in 2007 with Washington Dulles International Airport serving 24.7 million passengers.
Together, Washingtons airports served 43.4 million passengers in 2007, an increase of 1.9 million passengers compared to 2006.
2007 was a significant year for both Airports, said James E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates both Reagan National and Dulles. Reagan National served a record number of passengers for the third year in a row. Dulles experienced a steady pace of overall growth and set a new record for international passengers.
Dulles’ 24.7 million passengers in 2007 is a 7.5 percent increase compared to 23 million passengers in 2006.
In 2007, several airlines introduced new service to meet passenger demand at Dulles. Most notably, United Airlines launched a daily flight to Beijing, China in March, the first direct link between the capital cities of the United States and China. Other new United international service includes daily flights to Rome and Rio de Janeiro.
Four new international airlines launched service at Dulles: Iberia to Madrid, Copa Airlines to Panama City, Qatar Airways to Doha, and Aer Lingus to Dublin. Both Korean Airlines and Ethiopian Airways expanded service to Seoul and Addis Ababa, respectively.
This new and expanded international air service contributed to a new international passenger record at Dulles. The Airport served nearly 6 million international passengers in 2007, a 13.7 percent increase from the 5.2 million international passengers served in 2006.
New domestic air service at Dulles included a new airline in addition to expanded service from both legacy and low-fare carriers.
Virgin America began operations in 2007, launching flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco. United added several new cities to its lineup, including Huntsville, Oklahoma City and Little Rock, while jetBlue introduced new service to Orlando.
Airport facilities are also being expanded to accommodate increased air service and passenger volume.
The Airports Authoritys 15-year capital development program is scheduled to invest a combined total of nearly $7 billion in projects at both Reagan National and Dulles through the year 2016. So far, more than $3 billion has been invested in the D2 Dulles Development capital construction program.
Projects underway include construction of a new runway, expansion of the International Arrivals Building and the AeroTrain, an underground airport train system that will transport passengers between the Main Terminal and the concourses.
The Airports Authority introduced wireless Internet service throughout both Airports in 2007 along with improved cellular telephone and data coverage. A new system in the public areas of the airport now supplements service that previously came from off-airport towers.
We are continuously working to make the traveling experience at our Airports better for our customers, Bennett said.