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Orlando airport tops 50 million passengers

Record year for both domestic and international traffic.

Orlando International Airport topped 50 million passengers for the first time in 2019, airport officials announced Tuesday.

The final tallies of people either getting onto or off airplanes totaled 50,613,072, about 6% higher than the previous high mark recorded in 2018, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority reported.

That included 43,455,953 passengers arriving or leaving on domestic flights and another 7,157,119 on international flights. Those totals marked records for those two categories as well at Orlando.

In 2017, the Orlando airport surpassed Miami International Airport to become Florida’s busiest, and the 10th busiest in the United States.

“Orlando International’s growth is due to a combination of factors,” GOAA Chief Executive Officer Phil Brown said in a news release. “A strong Central Florida economy, continued innovative attractions being unveiled by the local theme parks, increased air service to new markets around the world, and more seats coming into the area all equal record traffic at MCO.”

GOAA reported that increased air service was provided in 2019 between Orlando and 22 other cities, and new service was extended to five new destinations.

In addition, seat capacity was increased by 5.9%, which is equal to another 3.25 million seats. Leading that growth were two discount airlines, Spirit and Frontier.

December saw a 7% increase over December 2018 but offered a mixed picture. Domestic traffic increased more than 9%, but international traffic fell 4% year-over-year.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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