DTW international passenger and cargo traffic increase in 2012

Posted: 12 February 2013 | Meltwater Press | No comments yet

International passenger traffic at Detroit Metropolitan Airport increased significantly by 6.8 percent in 2012…

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

International passenger traffic at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) increased significantly by 6.8 percent in 2012, while total passenger traffic stayed relatively flat at 32,241,731—down less than 0.5 percent from 2011. The airport saw 2,811,209 total international passengers last year, up from 2,633,427 in 2011. Total cargo shipped also increased 6.0 percent year over year–from 455,169,670 lbs. in 2011 to 482,526,451 lbs in 2012.

“We are really excited about the substantial growth in traffic to and from our international destinations and in our total cargo shipped,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Tom Naughton. “As the economy continues to show signs of recovery, Detroit Metro Airport’s efficiency in both terminal design and airfield capacity positions us well to take advantage of future demand in passenger and cargo traffic.”

Air cargo growth at DTW bucked an international trend as the worldwide demand for air freight declined 1.5 percent in 2012 and 0.5 percent in North America according to the International Air Transport Association. This is the third year in a row that both international traffic and total cargo shipped have increased at DTW.

Total aircraft operations at DTW—the count of take-offs and landings by aircraft of any type—declined to 427,814 in 2012 from 443,028 in 2011, down 3.4 percent. Total landed weights, which are a key metric in how the Airport Authority sets rates and charges to airlines for use of the airport, decreased by 1.8 percent. The drop in operations and landed weight correlates to the airlines’ efforts to reduce labor and fuel cost by replacing smaller regional jets with newer, larger and more cost-effective aircraft.

“Although the frequency of service to different markets reduced slightly, we are encouraged by the new domestic service the airlines have started, or are planning to start,” said Naughton. Southwest Airlines has added service from DTW to Las Vegas and is planning to add service to Ft. Myers on Feb. 12th. Spirit Airlines is planning to add service to Denver starting Feb. 14th, and Frontier Airlines is planning to add nonstop service to Trenton, NJ on April 9th.

Delta Air Lines, which operates its second-largest hub and primary transpacific gateway at DTW, continued to be the airport’s busiest air carrier in 2012 handling approximately 78.5 percent of passenger traffic (including flights operated by Delta Connection partners). Southwest Airlines, (with its subsidiary AirTran Airways) came in second, carrying about 5.3 percent of airport passengers. Spirit Airlines followed closely in third place with about 4.6 percent of passenger traffic at DTW. A total of 11 regularly-scheduled passenger airlines, along with scheduled cargo carriers Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and Lufthansa Cargo served DTW last year.

A complete year-end traffic report for DTW is available at

Send this to a friend