Total passenger traffic at Miami International Airport grew by 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 10.5 million travelers, continuing the upward growth trend that saw MIA reach an all-time record of 40.5 million passengers last year. First quarter growth is directly attributable to domestic traveler totals, which grew by 3.74 percent through March to 5.4 million passengers, despite the many winter storms that negatively impacted flights across the country. The number of international travelers at MIA decreased by slightly less than one percent for the first three months of 2014 to 5.08 million passengers, but is projected to bounce back with the busy summer travel season approaching.
This summer’s World Cup in Brazil, MIA’s top international market, is expected to boost international travel at the global gateway. MIA will have 578 departures to Brazil in June, up from 437 last June, for a 30-percent increase. When the games begin in June, MIA will serve 11 destinations in Brazil, including 10 of the 12 World Cup host cities. Additionally, two new international carriers – Jetairfly and InselAir Aruba – launched MIA service in April. Boliviana de Aviación, Air Europa, and Qatar Airways will also begin new international service at MIA in the second quarter.
Air freight at MIA also posted positive Q1 results as total freight grew by 2.2 percent to more than 500,000 tons through March. International freight shipments increased by 3.3 percent, a number buoyed by the annual influx of Valentine’s Day flowers that arrive at MIA on their way from the growing regions of Latin America to destinations across the U.S. In all, U.S. Customs and Border protection estimates that 398.5 million stems of cut flowers arrived at MIA between January 27 and February 14. Annually, more than 91 percent of all flower imports to the U.S. come through MIA. The uptick in international freight offset a 5.2-percent dip in domestic freight, which accounted for just 12.5 percent of the total freight tonnage.
“The positive momentum that carried MIA through 2013 has continued right into 2014, and we’re very excited for what’s to come, whether it’s on the passenger or
freight side of the business,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “The many stories behind these statistics – new jobs for locals, new investment in our community, and increased global access for residents and visitors alike – are every bit as important as the numbers themselves.”
For a complete report of MIA’s first quarter traffic statistics, go to http://www.miami-airport.com/monthly_traffic_Mar_2014.asp
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