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Miami International Airport sets mid-year record for passenger growth

CBS News Live
CBS News Miami Live

MIAMI - For the first time in its history, Miami International Airport is on pace to surpass 50 million annual passengers.

Two years after the pandemic shrank global air travel to historic lows, MIA is experiencing its busiest year ever. Its current annual record is 45.9 million passengers, set in 2019.

In the first six months of 2022, MIA served 25.5 million passengers, according to statistics released this week. That's an 8.5% increase over the midpoint of the airport's record year in 2019.

Domestic passengers led the way with an increase of 26% compared to 2019 for 15.3 million travelers year-to-date, while the international passenger count of 10.2 million was 10.5% below its 2019 level but 102% above last year's midpoint number, as global travel continues to rebound steadily.

"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 in a statement. "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."

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 9th place for aircraft movements.

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