RDU Tops 10 Million-Passenger Mark

Posted January 17, 2008 5:14 p.m. EST

— More than 10 million passengers traveled through Raleigh-Durham International Airport last year, marking the second time in the airport’s history it has passed that mark.

The 10.034 million passengers last year was up 6.4 percent from to 2006, RDU officials said Thursday. In 2000, 10.4 million travelers passed through the airport.

“Many factors play a role in annual growth,” Teresa Damiano, RDU's director of marketing, said in a statement. “Since 2001, we have experienced years of strong growth and years that were marked by declines in air service as the aviation industry adjusted to a changing climate. Beginning in late 2006, the regional economic outlook, local demand for air travel and individual airline strategies all contributed to tremendous growth and opportunities for the airport and our customers.”

Two airlines launched service to RDU last year: ExpressJet and Midwest Connect. United Airlines also returned to the airport in 2007.

United had ceased management of its operations at RDU in 2001 after forming a partnership with a regional carrier to operate United Express service. The airline returned in September to resume the management of its aircraft operations after beginning nonstop service between RDU and Denver and expanding service to Chicago O’Hare and Washington’s Dulles.

Airlines serving RDU also introduced 30 new flights to popular business and leisure destinations last year, including Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and New Orleans.