MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) continues to see growth of passengers using the airport for arrivals and departures.
During October, RDU saw 1,366,603 flyers traveling to and from the airport. RDU’s October traffic reflects a 19.5% increase over October 2022 and a 7.1% increase over October 2019, the airport’s record-breaking year. Passenger traffic rose 10.5% from September 2023.
“International travel is driving rapid growth at RDU as passengers venture to destinations across North America, Europe and the Caribbean,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “RDU continues to expand travelers’ options with increased service to Europe and for the first time, a nonstop route to Mexico’s capitol city.”
Factors contributing to RDU growth:
New Flights, International Destinations.
- Aeromexico is planning to take flight from RDU for the first time with direct flights to Mexico City in July. Flights plans to operate every day on a 99-seat Embraer E-190. Mexico City joins Cancun as RDU’s second nonstop route to Mexico. Aeromexico will be RDU’s 17th airline and is one of three to announce or begin international service this year.
- Air France’s inaugural flight from Paris to RDU launched on Oct. 30. Air France will fly the Paris route three days a week until March 31. That’s when it begins daily nonstop service.
- Lufthansa announced in September it will begin nonstop service to Frankfurt in 2024. This will give Triangle-area travelers easy access to Germany and beyond with streamlined connections to Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa and more.
- Breeze Airways is set to launch twice-weekly nonstop service to Fort Myers, Fla. starting Nov. 17.
- The new Sheetz convenience store and gas station at Aviation Parkway and National Guard Drive is set to reopen on Friday, Nov. 17. The Sheetz closed in January to allow the store to be demolished and rebuilt. Sheetz now has enhanced kitchen facilities, expanded indoor and outdoor seating and a food and beverage drive-through. It also has more pump stations for fuel, making it a convenient place to gas up and get a snack on the airport campus.
Holiday travel tips
RDU is expecting to see an increase in travelers throughout the holiday season. It’s best to plan in advance and use these tips:
- Book parking online. Travelers can book parking at parkrdu.com for guaranteed entry into the deck or lot of their choice. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. For the first time since 2019, all RDU parking facilities will be open. ParkRDU Express reopened in October, adding 1,000 more parking spaces on campus. The convenient trunk-to-terminal service offers airport guests assistance with their luggage and a direct shuttle to the terminals. The Express lot is located on International Drive near Park Economy 4.
- Get to the airport early. Increased passenger traffic makes it even more important for travelers to allow plenty of time to park, check in and go through security. RDU recommends arriving two hours early for domestic flights and three hours in advance for international flights. Airlines begin boarding 30 – 40 minutes before departure, so start your trip off right by getting to the gate early.
- Use RDU’s free Cell Lot. If you are picking someone up from the airport, use our free Cell Lot to make curbside pickup a breeze. Follow the signs on campus at the lot, located at 1000 Trade Drive, then wait for a call or text letting you know your loved one has arrived. Be sure to give them 30 minutes after their arrival time to pick up their bags and meet you on the curb. To ease congestion, travelers at Terminal 2 can be picked up at the arrivals or departures curbs.