How Indianapolis International Is Leading Air Travel Recovery In The Midwest

Summary

  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND) had a record-breaking year in 2023, handling over 9.7 million passengers.
  • The airport has exceeded its pre-pandemic capacity with a recovery rate of more than 102%.
  • The return of business travel played a significant role in the airport’s recovery, with 46% of its capacity attributed to business travelers.



Indianapolis International Airport (IND) had a record-breaking year in terms of passenger numbers, handling over 9.7 million in 2023. This amounts to over a 12% increase year-on-year, with business travel also experiencing a welcome recovery.


Indianapolis has record year

The airport exceeded its pre-pandemic capacity with more than a 102% recovery rate, welcoming more than 9.7 million travelers through its doors last year. This total was 2.6% higher than what it achieved in 2019, along with a 12.6% increase from 2022. IND served 47 destinations last year, with several carriers increasing their operations at the airport.


Photo: Indianapolis International Airport


Flight movements were up by 7.9% and seat capacity by 16.5% year-on-year, with the airport smashing multiple records throughout the year.


Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA), said,


“IND is making a strong recovery overall. Our peer medium hub airports in the Midwest region are showing an average recovery of about 96 percent compared to 2019 with the Indy airport at more than 102 percent recovered.”


A lot of this growth can be attributed to new airlines setting up service at the airport, along with previous carriers resuming operations following the pandemic. This included Frontier Airlines – which began new routes from Phoenix and Raleigh-Durham – and Southwest Airlines resuming flights to Kansas and San Diego.

2023 in numbers

With 2023 now in the books, IND revealed that nine out of its top ten busiest-ever days (as recorded by passenger numbers) happened last year. The Fall Break travel period was the busiest in the year, with seven single-day records set, along with July 23rd, when the city hosted the Delta Sigma Theta National Convention. However, the busiest day of the year happened over the Indy 500 and Memorial Day Weekend in late May, which Simple Flying has explored in greater detail here.


Indianapolis International Airport at sunset

Photo: Indianapolis International Airport


It is worth mentioning that the number one spot remains unchanged, with that instead remaining when Indianapolis hosted Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012. Nine of the 12 months last year saw record monthly numbers set, with January, February, April, June, July, August, September, October and November setting record-high passenger numbers.

Business travel key

IND has benefited from the gradual return of business travel, which was one of the hardest-hit areas over the pandemic. While the business market still hasn’t recovered fully, Indianapolis owes 46% of its capacity to business travel.

Related

Pole Position: Indianapolis Named The Best Medium-Sized US Airport For Customer Satisfaction

The airport topped the list for the sixth time as customers enjoyed new food and beverage options and comfortable facilities.

Marsha Wurster, IAA senior director of commercial enterprise, said,


“These are numbers we’ve been looking forward to. As business travel increases, we’re sharing that demand with our airline partners, and that’s fueling crucial conversations on new domestic and international routes.”


Around 52% of passengers at the airport were leisure travelers, with the remaining two percent comprised of passengers considered both business and leisure.


Did you fly out of Indianapolis International Airport (IND) last year? How did you find the overall experience? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by Moneyofficeteam

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