Two years after the pandemic shrank global air travel to historic lows, Miami International Airport (MIA) is experiencing its busiest year ever and is on pace to surpass 50 million annual passengers for the first time in its history. MIA’s previous annual record is 45.9 million passengers, set in 2019.
According to statistics released recently, MIA served 25.5 million passengers through the first six months of 2022, an 8.5 percent increase over the midpoint of the airport’s record year in 2019. Domestic passengers led the way with an increase of 26 percent compared to 2019 for 15.3 million travelers year-to-date, while the international passenger count of 10.2 million was 10.5 percent below its 2019 level but 102 percent above last year’s midpoint number, as global travel continues to rebound steadily.
MIA’s rebound since the pandemic is the strongest among all large U.S. hubs, according to Airports Council International-North America. A recent report by the industry organization ranked MIA as the fastest-growing large U.S. airport in airline seat capacity in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, and one of only six U.S. airports with positive growth during that period.
In 2021, MIA also became the busiest U.S. airport for international passengers, remained the busiest U.S. airport for international freight, and moved up among the world’s airports to 12th place for total passengers and ninth place for aircraft movements.
“Congratulations to MIA for leading the nation in passenger growth since the travel downturn from the pandemic,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Our county is experiencing more tourism growth than any other community in the country, which means a stronger economy and increased job opportunities for our residents.”
After two consecutive years of record-breaking growth, cargo shipments at MIA continued to soar as well with more than 1.3 million tons through June, for an increase of 3.2 percent over last year. International freight was up 2.7 percent, while domestic tonnage grew 5.8 percent year-over-year.
“We are thrilled to see MIA reach new heights in 2022 and to be on track for our best traffic year ever,” said Ralph Cutié, MIA director and CEO. “Thanks to our airlines and federal partners, we are proudly welcoming more visitors and cargo to Miami-Dade County than ever before, and we look forward to having an even more successful second half of the year.”