Indianapolis International Airport says more than 7.1 million passengers traveled through Indy in 2021, marking a 75% increase over 2020 and outpacing peer airports. Officials also say the amount of air cargo that came through was the highest in the airport’s history.
The airport says most of the increase in passenger traffic was due to pent-up demand from leisure travelers. The fourth quarter of 2021 saw the most traffic, mainly due to fall break travel in October and holiday travel in November and December.
“It’s a promising development and we’re outpacing our peer airports in Columbus, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh in passenger traffic recovery,” Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, said in written remarks. “The pandemic has transformed the make-up of air travel. Pre-pandemic, 45% of air travel was business and 55% was leisure. In 2021, that breakdown was 18% business and 82% leisure.”
The airport added 22 nonstop flights to 10 new destinations, as well as two new airlines, Sun Country Airlines and Contour Airlines. Additionally, six nonstop flights that were halted due to the pandemic resumed in 2021.
IND also recorded 1.3 million tons of total cargo and 5.7 million tons of landed weight last year, both records. Marsha Stone, senior director of commercial enterprise for the IAA, says FedEx processed the highest volume of cargo in its history at the airport as it continues its $1.5 billion expansion at the Indy hub.
Mario Rodriguez will appear this weekend on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk more about what’s fueling the increased traffic and what it means for Indiana’s economy.