February 21, 2019– Charlotte Douglas International Airport welcomed 46.4 million passengers in 2018, a 1 percent increase from 2017 numbers and an all-time high. Compared to 2008 total travelers, it's a 34 percent jump.
"We would like to thank the millions of passengers who chose CLT as their first choice for air travel," said Aviation Director/CEO Brent Cagle. "Expansion of the hub, Charlotte region and the Airport's strong customer demand have placed us on a path of continued growth for the foreseeable future that we welcome."
Aircraft movements and cargo were also up in 2018. As the world's seventh busiest airport, CLT oversaw 550,013 landings and departures, a 0.4 percent climb from 2017. Cargo activity rose 2 percent to 178,805 tons of goods transported through CLT, illustrating the continued popularity of e-commerce.
Last year, CLT offered nonstop service to 175 destinations, including 36 international destinations and three US territories. Ten new nonstop destinations were launched. American Airlines added domestic service to Tucson, Arizona; South Bend, Indiana; Panama City, Florida; New Haven, Connecticut; Ithaca, New York and Champaign, Illinois. International routes began to Marsh Harbour, Bahamas and Eleuthera, Bahamas. Frontier Airlines kicked off seasonal service to San Antonio, Texas; Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida and Providence, Rhode Island.
The Airport also welcomed Volaris and Contour Airlines in 2018. Volaris is CLT's third foreign flag carrier offering passengers nonstop service to Guadalajara, Mexico. Contour provides daily flights to Beckley, West Virginia and Saturday service to Tampa, Florida. This year, Spirit Airlines will join the Airport in June with nonstop daily service to Baltimore/Washington D.C.; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Orlando, Florida and Newark, New Jersey.
CLT remains one of the fastest growing airports in the country and continues to prepare for passenger growth. Destination CLT, a $2.5 billion development plan, is well underway. The first project in that portfolio, Concourse A Expansion – Phase l, opened in July, adding nine new gates. The construction of the Elevated Roadway and Terminal Curb Front, which will increase traffic lanes for picking up and dropping off passengers, will finish by the end of the year. East Terminal Expansion – Phase ll will open this summer. Concourse B renovations will wrap up in April.
The Airport's aggressive customer focused strategy gave passengers more than 100 retail and food options. Several signature concessions debuted last year, including Panera Bread, NoDa Brewing Company (both located on Concourse A Expansion) and Captain Jack's Tavern (Concourse E). Minute Suites (Atrium) opened in May, offering travelers a quiet space to nap, relax and work. For passengers craving a sweet treat, Dylan's Candy Bar (Atrium) embodies a candy connoisseur's dream.
As an economic engine of the Carolinas, CLT contributes $23 billion in annual economic output, $1.1 billion in state/local taxes, 132,330 jobs for N.C. residents and $5.7 billion in personal income according to a report conducted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Aviation.