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Indy Airport Breaks Another Record, Makes History Again

More passengers, more nonstop destinations, more flights in 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 24, 2018) – More than 8.77 million passengers flew through the Indianapolis International Airport in 2017, setting a new historical record. The increased number of passengers is due to the airport’s significant growth in flight connectivity throughout the United States and the globe.

This new passenger record exceeds the previous record set in 2005, and represents a 3 percent increase over 2016 passenger activity. The airport broke records in January, May, June, October and November for passenger traffic – and set a new record in June 2017 with nearly 434,000 passengers flying out of Indy.

“The bottom line is people realize you can get there from here,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. “Thanks to our community, we now have a record-breaking number of destinations via a nonstop flight, and 400 destinations with only a one-stop connection – and Hoosiers can reach all major hubs on the West Coast.”

In 2017 alone, the Indy airport’s airline partners added twelve flights, including seven new nonstop destinations, to unserved and underserved markets. In addition to new nonstop destinations, passenger traffic also increased throughout the year to key, previously existing routes.

By the end of 2017, Hoosiers could reach 49 nonstop destinations out of Indianapolis, which was a new milestone for the terminal. But the Indy airport broke that record just days into 2018, with the announcement of two new flights to Sarasota, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina with Allegiant Air. Now, the Indianapolis airport averages 145 daily flights to 51 nonstop destinations.

Rodriguez said many of these destinations are the strategic result of years of work the IAA has invested in – collaborating with airlines and community partners to establish routes that align with where passengers want and need to go.

“Our West Coast growth has been in the works for several years, starting with San Francisco, and has been driven significantly by Indy’s tech sector growth,” said Marsha Stone, senior director of commercial enterprise. “Last year we saw those efforts really take off with the inaugural flight to Seattle via Alaska Airlines and the addition of new nonstop flights into Oakland and San Diego.”

Nonstop service to West Coast hubs is often cited as a critical factor for corporate relocation and expansion. According to Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis’ “Tech Thirty” report, Indianapolis ranks fourth among major metros in tech employment growth over the last few years.

The Indy airport also increased flights to San Francisco last year – with three daily flights, two through United Airlines and one daily via Alaska Airlines/Virgin America.

Rodriguez said the Indy airport’s growth is also a big vote of confidence from airlines – specific to the Indy market.

That confidence was demonstrated with emphasis last year when Delta Air Lines announced the first-ever, year-round nonstop transatlantic flight from Indy to Paris – a big win for Indiana as a whole with the potential for $50 million in annual economic impact.

In addition, Indy was one of the few markets where Southwest Airlines chose to add an international flight with nonstop service to Cancun. Even before their first Seattle flight took off, Alaska Airlines via Virgin America also announced a new nonstop flight to San Francisco. This activity was all in addition to the announcement of new nonstop leisure travel destinations through Allegiant Air and its decision to invest $40 million for an aircraft and crew base in Indianapolis that will create 66 high-paying jobs.

“This collective activity is driven by and fuels the local economy,” said Rodriguez. “That’s tangible public value that is translated back into making our airport the best in North America, and among the top ten most connected midsize airports in the United States.”

To view the December 2017 Airline Activity Report, click here.