Reagan National sets record for passengers in 2022

Gone are the days of half empty airplanes, and at Reagan National and Dulles International airports, departure and arrival gates were crowded in 2022.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reported that Reagan National handled 23.9 million passengers in 2022, a 70.6% jump over 2021, and slightly more than pre-pandemic 2019.

American Airlines continues to be the dominant carrier at Reagan National, accounting for 56% of the commercial passenger market last year. JetBlue saw the largest increase in passengers last year, up 30.7% from 2021, followed by United, with an increase of 23.2%. Reagan National’s other top carriers last year were Southwest, Delta and Frontier.

At Dulles, 2022 passenger count was just shy of pre-pandemic 2019, but the 21.4 million passengers it handled was up 42.4% from 2021.

Much of the increase in passengers at Dulles came from international flights in 2022 compared to 2021, when many travel restrictions still limited travel to international destinations.

The outsized jump in passengers was most notable for foreign carriers, such as ANA with a 348% increase, Korean Air with a 225% increase and Aer Lingus with a 176% increase. Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France and Avianca all saw big increases, as travel restrictions were lifted.

The 7.4 million international passengers passing through Dulles last year was more than double in  2021.

United Airlines dominates in Dulles, accounting for 68.4% of passengers last year.

Reagan National had an average of 581 daily departures last year. Dulles had an average 331 daily departures, an average 69 of which were international flights.

In total, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reported that Reagan National and Dulles saw a total of 45.34 million passengers in 2022, a 56.1% increase.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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