747 retirement 2

The last United Airlines Boeing 747 to land at Washington Dulles International Airport prepares to stop at its gate Oct. 19, 2017, following a water-cannon salute. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

One was up and one was down, but the overall year-over-year passenger trend at Northern Virginia’s two local airports was higher in new data.

For July, the combined passenger count of 4.5 million at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport was up 1.4 percent from a year before, according to figures reported Sept. 16 by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

With passenger activity of about 2.1 million, Reagan National posted a decline of 0.5 percent from a year before, but the 2.5 million passengers who traveled through Dulles represented an increase of 3 percent.

Growth at Dulles was boosted by an increase of 6.6 percent from dominant carrier United, which increased its presence at the airport by 605 scheduled flights and 45,000 more seats from a year before.

Other notable changes at Dulles: American’s passenger total dropped 33.7 percent due to elimination of service to Miami and reduction in service to Dallas and Charlotte, and British Airways saw its passenger total decline 14.8 percent due to the use of smaller aircraft on its routes to Dulles.

At Reagan National, dominant carrier American posted a slight (0.4 percent) decline in passenger totals. The dip was due to reductions in service to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, necessitated by runway construction there.

Delta showed a passenger-count increase of 4.8 percent from a year before at National, while United pulled back, with its total passenger count down 11.7 percent.

For the first seven months of the year, the passenger count of 14.1 million at Dulles is up 4.2 percent from the same period a year before, while the passenger count of 13.9 million at Reagan National is up 0.9 percent. Combined, the two airports show a year-over-year increase of 2.6 percent from the January-to-July period of 2018.

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