Dulles International and Reagan National Airports Passenger Traffic Tops 47.5 Million in 2018

Published: February 19, 2019

Five-percent increase at Dulles International further strengthens position as National Capital Region’s #1 international airport


The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reported Tuesday that Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport served 47.5 million passengers in 2018—growing 1.6 percent year-over-year from 2017. Increases were driven by a surge in both international and domestic activity at Dulles International and steady passenger traffic at Reagan National.


Dulles International saw more than 24 million passengers travel through the National Capital Region’s gateway to the world last year – nearly one-third of those coming from domestic travel, which was up 6.3 percent from the previous year. The growth was fueled by domestic carriers including Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, and an increase in local passengers choosing Dulles International. In addition to the 12 new domestic routes added by United in 2018 and 2019, new international service at the airport in 2018 included:

  • United’s service to Edinburgh, Scotland, launched in May 2018;
  • Cathay Pacific Airways’ nonstop service to Hong Kong, launched in September 2018 (the airport’s and the airline’s longest nonstop route);
  • Volaris’ nonstop service to San Salvador, El Salvador with continuing service onto San Jose, Costa Rica, launched in May 2018; and
  • Increased passenger counts on Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Emirates and Air China.

Looking forward to 2019, numbers at Dulles International are expected to get another upward bump with new airlines and routes, including United Airlines three times a week nonstop service to Tel Aviv, Israel, in May 2019; Alitalia, with five times a week nonstop service to Rome, also in May 2019; and TAP Portugal, with five times a week nonstop service to Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2019.


At Reagan National Airport, which is operating at capacity, passenger traffic was relatively flat with 23.5 million passengers in 2018, despite challenges throughout the year of decreased domestic airline load factors and weather impacts up and down the East Coast.


Detailed 2018 travel statistics for Reagan National and Dulles International Airports can be found online.


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