Tuesday, February 20, 2024

ILM is fastest growing NC airport according to latest numbers

WILMINGTON — Wilmington International Airport released its 2023 passenger numbers and surpasses previous benchmarks, so much so it’s the top growing airport in the state and fourth overall nationally.

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According to a press release from ILM, it experienced a 21% increase in passengers last year, compared to 2023. Just more than 1.3 million travelers funneled through the airport. It culminated in 23% seat capacity growth, ahead of the statewide average of 14% and national average of 10%. 

“ILM consistently broke records with eleven months of the year having the most enplanements ever recorded,” the release noted.

The inflation is attributed to the airlines and stops added to ILM in the last year. This includes a new airliner, Sun Country adding flights to Minneapolis, adding to Delta, American and Avelo. Avelo added stops out of Wilmington last year, including to Wilmington, Delaware, and more destinations in Florida, such as West Palm Beach and Tampa, while Delta also announced in November it would service St. Paul, Minnesota, May through September.

“This increase in seats and record numbers means more choices, more convenience, and lower fares,” Jeff Bourk, ILM airport director, said in the release. 

The airport released its five-year vision plan last spring, to keep apace with the growth. It includes a new terminal and parking deck; the airport expanded its terminal by 75% in 2022.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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