AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 15 million passengers flew out of the Austin airport between January and September, new airport data shows.
The new September numbers bring the year-to-date passenger total at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to more than 15.5 million passengers.
This year has already ranked as the third busiest on record, with three months of data still to come. More than 17.3 million passengers were recorded in 2019, which currently ranks as the airport’s busiest year in history.
This year, airport officials forecast a total of 21 million passengers.
September 2022 ranks as the seventh busiest month of all time. All seven best months have occurred this year.
In September alone, 1,772,902 passengers were registered. May remains the busiest month in AUS with more than 2 million passengers.
September’s total is up 46.5% on September 2021, when there were just over 1.2 million passengers.
Southwest Airlines remains the largest airline operating in AUS in terms of passenger traffic. Nearly four out of 10 passengers flew on Southwest in September.
American Airlines is the second largest, with a quarter of all passengers flying with the airline. Delta Air Lines accounted for 11.7% of AUS passengers and United Airlines flew about 10.5% of passengers. Alaska Airlines is a distant fifth, carrying 4.5% of passengers in September.
When looking at individual airlines, most reported annual growth in September.
For the fourth month in a row, Allegiant Airlines posted the largest increase in total passengers. In September 2022, the airline carried 28,217 passengers compared to 12,385 in September 2021 — an increase of 128%.
Hawaiian Airlines increased total passengers by 107%, while Southwest and American saw increases of more than 50%.
Some airlines saw lower passenger totals this September compared to last. Sun Country Airlines carried 149 this year, compared to 1,135 in September 2021, a drop of 87%. Meanwhile, Frontier Airlines saw a 35% drop in passenger traffic and JetBlue Airways a 13% drop.
Swift Air reported 164 passengers in September 2021 but none in September 2022.
Meanwhile, several airlines carried passengers in September 2022 but not in September 2021 due to COVID-related route cancellations. Air Canada and British Airways returned in October 2021.
Dutch airline KLM started its direct Austin-Amsterdam route on March 28, 2022. Meanwhile, German airline Lufthansa resumed its direct route to Frankfurt on April 8 after a two-year hiatus due to COVID. British airline Virgin Atlantic launched its direct route to London Heathrow on 25 May.