More than 31 million passengers passed through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last year, a jump of about a quarter from 2021, according to data released Monday.
That puts MSP’s 2022 traffic at about 79% of the record-breaking, pre-pandemic 2019, when the airport saw nearly 40 million air travelers, according to a report from the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs MSP. Still, 2022’s passenger count was more than twice what it was in 2020, when a little fewer than 15 million passengers traveled through MSP.
In 2021, about 25 million people traveled through MSP.
Airlines last year flew nonstop from MSP to 145 destinations, an increase from 137 in 2021. Some of those routes were new, and others were resumed after having been paused during the pandemic.
“Our recovery over the last year included several bright spots, highlighted by a continued expansion of domestic routes and a significant rebound in international service,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of MAC, in a statement. “As we look to further close the gap to pre-pandemic passenger levels, we’re encouraged airlines have already announced new destinations and flight frequencies for 2023 and that they continue to utilize larger aircraft with more seat capacity to meet increased demand out of MSP.”
Last year, the busiest days at MSP were during school breaks and holidays, according to a separate release from earlier in the month. The two days with the most passengers were MEA weekend in the fall, with about 82,000 passengers between Oct. 19 and Oct. 20. Days during spring break also numbered among the busiest days.
The vast majority of flights out of MSP last year were passenger airline flights. On average 756 of those flights took off or arrived at the airport each day in 2022, up slightly from 741 the year before.
The biggest airlines by market share at MSP remained the same as in previous years – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) had about 71% of the airport’s passenger market share, followed by locally based Sun Country Airlines (Nasdaq: SNCY), with about 11%. American Airlines Group Inc. (NYSE: AAL) was No. 3 with 4.6%
MAC said in a statement that the beginning of 2023 is seeing an average of 358 daily departures from MSP. MAC also started the year with a request for bids on its baggage claim and ticketing lobby, with bids due Feb. 14. MAC’s 2022-2028 operating budget includes over $45 million for “baggage claim/ticket lobby operational improvements.”
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