Louis Armstrong Airport breaks passenger record and plans for growth
The proof is in the bread pudding, as they say, and local officials touting air service in New Orleans earned another feather in their cap when Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) announced a new all-time record for total passengers served.
Last week MSY reported its passenger total for 2016 topped 11 million, totaling 11,139,421 passengers served. Even more impressive is the fact this shows a 4.4 percent increase over their previous 2015 record of more than ten million passengers.
The airport had major wins in 2016, each contributing to the rise in passengers. MSY reported a 21 percent growth in non-stop destinations, increasing from 48 cities in 2015 to 58 cities in 2016. It also said the average daily departures increased from 137 flights to 146 flights, representing a 6.7 percent increase.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a press release, “The airport’s record-breaking passenger totals can be credited to the hard work of airport employees and community and business leaders who continue to recruit the air service that allows the people in our community to travel to cities all over the world for business and leisure.”
Mayor Landrieu pointed to the future and added, "The new terminal coming online in 2018 will serve as a great first and last impression for the many visitors who travel to New Orleans.”
The future is indeed bright for MSY. It its January 2017 Air Service Update, the airport reported four airlines with new services. This month Allegiant Air is adding to new destinations with non-stop, twice-weekly flights to Cleveland, Ohio and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. The big win for New Orleans starts in March, when British Airways begins its new direct, non-stop flight to London Heathrow four times each week. Southwest is adding new seasonal departures to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh one time per week starting in March as well. Then Condor brings another international flight in May with seasonal service to Frankfurt, Germany twice each week.
"Armstrong International has had great success over the last seven years as it continues grow and improve travel to and from the Greater New Orleans region,” said New Orleans Councilman Jared Brossett, chair of the Transportation and Airport Committee in the press release.
"MSY is truly Louisiana’s airport, providing passengers with more non-stop destinations and airlines to choose from than ever before,” said Mark Reis via the press release, who serves as the interim director of aviation for MSY. "The airport’s mission is to serve as the gateway to the Southeast and improve travel options for the local community, and I feel we are doing just that.”
When the new North Terminal is completed by Oct. 1, 2018, New Orleans will even better equipped to welcome tourists and celebrate its tricentennial.