The FINANCIAL -- On February 13, Denver International Airport (DEN) announced that nearly 61.4 million passengers passed through the airport in 2017 – a year that saw multiple, historic firsts for DEN’s growth.
A total of 61,379,396 passengers traveled though DEN in 2017, an increase of 5.3 percent over the previous record of 58,266,515 passengers in 2016. December 2017 also was the busiest December in DEN history, with 4,950,804 passengers, according to Denver International Airport.
Overall international passenger traffic at DEN more than doubled the overall passenger traffic growth rate in 2017, increasing 12.5 percent over the previous year to an all-time high of 2.59 million international travelers. December 2017 was also the busiest month ever for international passengers at DEN, increasing nearly 17 percent over December 2016. International traffic growth over the last year was driven in part by new service and new airlines, including Copa Airlines to Panama City, Panama; United to Cozumel, Mexico; Norwegian to London Gatwick; Air Canada to Vancouver; and Southwest to Belize City, Belize. Aeromexico, Icelandair and Lufthansa also contributed to the record-setting year.
“Denver International Airport benefitted from unprecedented investment by our airline partners in 2017,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “New service announcements, increased capacity on existing routes and continued robust economic growth propelled our passenger traffic to reach historic levels, and we look forward to continuing this trend into 2018.”
The summer of 2017 was extraordinarily busy, setting 70 of the top 100 busiest days in the airport’s history. July was the busiest month ever for DEN, tallying more than 5.8 million passengers. The airport also experienced the single busiest day in its history on June 30, 2017, with 197,276 passengers. And, in late May, DEN celebrated its billionth passenger since the facility opened on Feb. 28, 1995.
“2017 will be remembered as one of the most successful in Denver aviation history,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “The coming year will find Denver connected with more long-haul international destinations than ever before, further strengthening Denver’s position on the global stage.”
DEN served 187 nonstop destinations around the world during 2017, six more than during the previous year. New destinations added in 2017, which were not served in 2016, include: Long Beach, California (LGB); Belize City, Belize (BZE); Pensacola, Florida (PNS); San Luis Obispo, California (SBP); Providence, Rhode Island (PVD); Columbia, Missouri (COU); London-Gatwick, United Kingdom (LGW); Prescott, Arizona (PRC); and Cozumel, Mexico (CZM). In addition, two new foreign-flag airlines inaugurated service at DEN in 2017, Norwegian and Copa, and one new domestic carrier, ViaAir. There were 23 commercial passenger airlines serving flights at DEN in 2017.
Mail, freight and express cargo operations also saw record-high levels in December, with 55,853,547 pounds of cargo – an increase of 4 percent compared to the same month in 2016. In all of 2017, 584,853,805 pounds of cargo was handled at DEN, up 6 percent from 551,641,079 pounds of cargo handled during 2016.