Frontier to start service at Dulles

Frontier Airlines used Airbus A320 aircraft like the one above to inaugurate service at Washington Dulles International Airport in 2014.

Despite having one less day to work with than a year before, Northern Virginia’s two major airports saw improved year-over-year passenger numbers in February, according to new figures.

With just under 3 million travelers coming and going at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, passenger totals were up 2.2 percent from February 2016, according to figures reported April 18 by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

(Adjusting for the extra day during 2016’s leap-year February, the year-over-year increase is closer to 6 percent.)

At Reagan National, the passenger count of 1,677,560 was up 2.6 percent from a year before. Delta, Southwest and United all posted year-over-year increases due to increased capacity and/or higher load factors; the airport’s dominant carrier, American, had higher load factors but less capacity, leading to a marginal decline in passengers to 838,753 – or 49.998 percent of all passengers at the airport for the month.

At Washington Dulles, the 1,308,646 passengers represented an increase of 1.1 percent from a year before, with dominant United Airlines and second-place Delta each seeing increases. United’s bump up came from a 5.3-percent increase in domestic passengers, offset by a 4.9-percent decline in its international travel.

At the region’s third major air terminal – Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, operated by the Maryland state government – February’s passenger count of 1,637,020 was up 2.5 percent from a year before.

Nationally, the U.S. airline industry saw enplanements rise 1.8 percent in February, compared to a year before, according to data from the trade group Airlines for America, which represents most major U.S. carriers.

For the first two months of the year, passenger counts were up 8.5 percent at Reagan National and 7.3 percent at Dulles, aided by the presidential inaugural, associated protests and nice weather.

Full data can be found at www.mwaa.com.

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