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Richmond Airport Starts 2019 with a 14.1% Jump in Traffic

Feb 27, 2019

Richmond International Airport, VA (February 27, 2019) – For the 16th consecutive month, Richmond International Airport (RIC) reports record passenger traffic as January 2019 had a 14.1 percent increase over the previous record established a year ago (296,735 passengers this year versus 260,133 in 2018).

“Given local demand for air travel, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing 2019 launch with a record month,” said Capital Region Airport Commission chairman Aubrey M. Stanley. “Growing right in step with the Richmond region, RIC has reported six consecutive years of passenger traffic increases and expects more of the same in coming months.”

Passenger Traffic

In January, Delta was the market share leader with 30.7 percent of all passenger traffic, closely followed by American (29.8%).  New entrant Spirit claimed a 5.0 percent passenger share for the month. All signatory airlines reported year-over-year growth, led by JetBlue (+11.8%) and American (+10.6%). Allegiant, offering twice-weekly service to three destinations, reported a 14.0 percent increase.

Through the first seven months of fiscal year 2019 (FY19), RIC’s passenger traffic is up 13.2 percent.


Total cargo, measured as a sum of freight and mail, increased 4.3 percent over the same period a year ago to 11.39 million pounds (5,165 metric tons).   


Aircraft operations increased 7.6 percent versus the same month a year ago as general aviation (+18.4%) and air carrier (+15.0%) operations reported double-digit gains. For fiscal year 2019, aircraft operations are up 3.6 percent.

View the RIC’s activity summary here.

Air Service Notes

  • Southwest Airlines will launch a new nonstop weekend route, Richmond-Tampa, and resume seasonal Saturday Richmond-Orlando service on August 10th.
  • Allegiant will start new twice-weekly service to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) on April 4th. SRQ will be Allegiant’s fourth destination from Richmond, joining St. Pete/Clearwater (PIE), Orlando/Sanford (SFB), and Nashville (BNA).
  • Starting in April, United Airlines will add a sixth daily frequency on the Richmond-Newark (EWR) route, increasing scheduled weekly RIC-EWR seats by 23 percent.
  • Scheduled seat capacity at RIC presently shows a ten percent (or more) increase through May.


January operating revenue, spurred by passenger traffic increases, jumped 16 percent to $4.1 million. For the fiscal year to date, operating revenues total $30.4 million, greater than budget by $3.4 million (13 percent).

On the expense side, January operating expenses totaled $2.4 million, greater than budget by 10 percent due to higher than expected maintenance and snow removal costs. For FY19 to date, operating expenses amount to $15.4 million, greater than budget by $157 thousand (1 percent).

About Richmond International Airport (RIC)

Richmond International Airport (RIC) is one of the most modern airports in the eastern U.S. Seven major airlines offer nonstop flights to major domestic destinations and connecting options to points around the world. The activities of RIC and its tenants create nearly 16,000 jobs and contribute $2.1 billion in economic activity annually to the Richmond region, according to the Virginia Department of Aviation’s most recent economic impact analysis. In 2018, the Airport welcomed more than four million passengers. To learn more, please visit



Troy M. Bell, C.M.
Director – Marketing & Air Service Development/PIO, 804-226-3022

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