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Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Traveler Update on Coronavirus

× Important information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Last Updated: February 22, 2021 8:14 EST

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Traveler Update on Coronavirus

Airports Authority Reports Strong Annual Passenger Growth, Unveils Inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Published: February 19, 2020

Nearly 49 million traveled through Reagan National and Dulles International in 2019; new report highlights sustainability, diversity, community outreach


The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reported Wednesday that Reagan National and Dulles International airports together served 48.8 million passengers in 2019, a 2.5 percent increase from 2018, and introduced an annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report spotlighting the Airports Authority’s environmental performance, economic impact, diversity programs and community involvement. 

Increases in passenger traffic were driven by a surge in both international and domestic activity at Dulles International and a steady rise at Reagan National, according to reports at the Airports Authority’s board of directors meeting. Dulles International saw more than 24.7 million passengers travel through the National Capital Region’s gateway to the world last year – nearly two-thirds of those coming from domestic travel, which was up 2.6 percent from 2018. The domestic growth was fueled in large part by United Airlines, which operates a major hub at Dulles International, as well as an increase in local passengers choosing Dulles.

In addition to nine new domestic routes added by United last year, new international service that began at the airport in 2019 included: 

  • United’s nonstop service to Tel Aviv, Israel, launched in May;
  • Alitalia’s nonstop service to Rome, launched in May;
  • EgyptAir’s nonstop service to Cairo, launched in June;
  • TAP Air Portugal’s nonstop service to Lisbon, launched in June; and
  • Cabo Verde Airlines’ nonstop service to Sal, Cape Verde, launched in December.

Additionally, increased passenger counts with foreign carriers including Air France, Aer Lingus, Avianca, Icelandair, Qatar Airways, and Volaris helped grow international passenger traffic by 4.6 percent compared with 2018.

Looking ahead in 2020, numbers at Dulles International are expected to get another boost with additional new airlines and routes set to launch, including Swiss Air International’s daily nonstop service to Zurich, beginning next month; Iberia’s four weekly nonstop flights to Madrid, Spain, beginning in May; and LOT Polish Airlines’ thrice weekly nonstop service to Warsaw, beginning in June. 

At Reagan National Airport, passenger traffic was relatively flat, with 23.9 million passengers in 2019 – an increase of just under 2 percent – despite challenges throughout the year with the worldwide grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft in March and multiple major weather events up and down the East Coast. 

“With sustained growth in passenger traffic last year and an upward trajectory as we continue into 2020, Dulles International and Regan National airports continue to provide National Capital Region travelers with unparalleled connectivity both domestically and to more than 55 international destinations,” said Jerome L. Davis, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

In addition, the Airports Authority unveiled its inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report at Wednesday’s board meeting. Key topics in the report, which will be expanded and updated annually, include sustainability, waste reduction and recycling, renewable energy and air and water quality programs, regional economic contributions, supplier and workforce diversity and community partnerships. 

“This new report details the major role the Airports Authority plays in so many areas of life in the National Capital Region and what we are doing to make the region a better place to live,” President and CEO Jack Potter told the board.

Detailed 2019 passenger statistics for Reagan National and Dulles International Airports can be found online here. Likewise, the full Corporate Social Responsibility report can also be found online here.