News and Press
DENVER – August 10, 2023 – Passenger-traffic records are breaking, and forecasts are shattering at Denver International Airport (DEN).
June 2023 ranks as the busiest month of passenger traffic ever for the airport. The 6,769,608 passengers served during June eclipsed the previous top monthly total set in July 2019 by more than 35,000 passengers. June 2023 passenger volume increased 8.2% compared to June 2022 and 6.0% compared to June 2019. Overall passenger traffic in the first half of the year reached an all-time high of more than 36.5 million passengers, an increase of 13.6% from the prior year and 11.8% above the first half of 2019.
“DEN’s record-breaking traffic comes as no surprise as we continue to work toward our Vision 100 goal of serving 100 million passengers,” DEN CEO Phil Washington said. “Our airline partners continue to invest and see value in DEN by adding new flights, new destinations, and new amenities for customers along the Front Range. The first half of 2023 is just the beginning as we are on pace for a record-breaking year and beyond.”
June 2023 was also the busiest month ever for international passenger traffic, reaching nearly 400,000 travelers. DEN’s international air service network was fully restored in March 2023 when United Airlines resumed nonstop service to Tokyo/Narita (NRT) after a nearly three-year hiatus. For the first six months of the year, international passenger traffic totaled nearly two million, an increase of 29.1% over 2022 and 23.9% over 2019, making the first half of 2023 the busiest for international traffic ever at DEN.
DEN’s air service network continues to expand in 2023 with six new domestic destinations and one new international destination either already launched or scheduled to be inaugurated in 2023. The airport’s domestic network for the full year includes nonstop flights to 187 destinations across 45 states, making it the second-largest domestic air service network in the U.S. Additionally, DEN serves 27 international destinations in 15 countries.
According to the most recent data available from Airports Council International, DEN remains the third-busiest airport in North America for year-to-date May 2023, behind only Atlanta (ATL) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW). Globally, DEN ranked as the seventh-busiest airport in the world for the first five months of the year as international airports such as Dubai (DXB), London/Heathrow (LHR) and Tokyo/Haneda (HND) rebound to preCOVID levels of passenger traffic.
Cargo volume at DEN totaled nearly 330 million pounds in the first half of 2023, a decrease of 3.5% over the same period in 2022 but a 2.9% increase over 2019. Cargo transported onboard passenger carriers has exhibited particular strength, a direct result of recent expansion in long-haul international flights, including the return of DEN-NRT.
Forecasts indicate DEN will continue to set passenger traffic records in the second half of 2023 and end the year with between 78 and 79 million passengers, four to five million above the original prediction of 74 million. DEN’s busiest year on record was 2022 when the airport served nearly 69.3 million passengers.
DEN forecasts also indicate that growth is going to continue, and 100 million annual passengers will travel through the airport sooner than originally envisioned when formulating Vision 100. Original projections assumed DEN would reach that number in 2032. However, DEN now expects to reach that milestone as early as 2028. Construction of additional gates, airline growth, continued upguaging and other factors could impact this milestone.
In order to meet this accelerated timeline and keep up with the growth, DEN is evaluating additional infrastructure work for future consideration to support this additional demand. The economic impact to the region when DEN reaches 100 million passengers is expected to exceed $71 billion annually, and support more than 447,000 jobs.
Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit www.FlyDenver.com, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.