DIA sets international passenger record

DENVER — Denver International Airport had its busiest first quarter ever, the airport said Thursday. DIA also set an all-time record for international passenger traffic in March.

More than 273,000 international passengers passed through DIA in March, up 14 percent compared to the same time in 2017. It was also the sixth consecutive month of record-setting traffic.

The increase is thanks in part to several new international routes, including WestJet’s service to Calgary and United’s renewed direct flight to London. British Airways and Norwegian Air already fly nonstop to the British capital.

“By adding new routes and nonstop destinations, we’re connecting the Rocky Mountain region with the world,” DIA CEO Kim Day said in a statement.

However, the vast majority of flights in and out of Denver stay within the U.S.; more than 5 million domestic passengers passed through the airport in March.

DIA’s status as a hub for a number of airlines — including United, Southwest and Frontier — help make it the sixth-busiest airport in the country. In 2016, more than 58 million people passed through the airport.

In addition to 160 U.S. destinations, Denver passengers can fly direct to 23 cities in Europe, Asia and North America. A number of foreign destinations have been added in recent years, including Paris, Zurich and Panama City.

While passenger traffic increased, cargo operations decreased slightly. 3 percent fewer mail, freight and express cargo operations came through DIA in March compared to last year.

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