Boston’s international passengers beat 2019 figures; JetBlue top but Delta nears; Orlando now first

Hainan Airlines

With nearly five million people living in the Greater Boston area, it is among the USA’s largest city areas. Boston experienced strong growth in the pre-pandemic period, with 12.2 million passengers added between 2013 and 2019, a CAGR of about 5%.

Boston passengers 2004-2023

International traffic beat 2019 figures in first seven months of 2023

Massport statistics show that Boston had 30.6 million total passengers between January and September 2023, down by less than 5% versus the same nine months in 2019. Unlike many other airports, it was because of the domestic market rather than international, which rose by +0.16%.

The arrival of Avianca on 27 March 2023 helped (daily), the first time the Colombian capital, Bogota, had been served since 2019. So did:

  • Avianca El Salvador from San Salvador-Boston on 1 June (3-weekly)
  • Norse Atlantic with a summer-seasonal service from London LGW on 2 September (5-weekly)
  • BermudAir from the Atlantic Ocean location on 13 September (now 6-weekly)

Of incumbents, JetBlue started Bermuda on 5 May (daily), Vancouver on 15 June (daily) and Amsterdam on 20 September (daily). Porter commenced Ottawa on March 27 (daily).

Bermuda Air

November 2023 into 2024

More recently, Hainan Airlines returned from Beijing PEK on 26 November (3-weekly), while JetBlue began Grenada on 4 November (weekly).

Going forward, the arrival of Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi (4-weekly) on 31 March 2024 will assist further international development. So, too, will Aeromexico, which returns from Mexico City on 21 March (daily) having last served the market in January 2019.

JetBlue will begin Dublin on 13 March (daily) and Paris CDG on 3 April (daily), while Azores Airlines adds two routes: Porto on 4 June (weekly) and Funchal on 5 June (weekly).

Athens International Airport

Hainan Airlines

JetBlue is number one this winter, but Delta is close behind

Examining Cirium schedules information for W23 shows that Boston is served by 40+ passenger carriers. Not surprisingly, JetBlue remains the leading operator. However, just 87,000 departing seats separate it from Delta. This is from JetBlue reducing capacity year-on-year, while Delta has grown it.

Nonetheless, JetBlue’s Boston network has risen – from 63 to 67 destinations. Aside from ending Newark and Rochester (NY), and winter service to Kansas City, JetBlue has particularly cut service to multi-daily business destinations, such as Washington DCA and New York LGA.

Notice Spirit, whose available seats have risen considerably; it is now the fifth-largest operator at Boston. It began Charlotte on 7 June 2023 (daily), followed by Los Angeles on 5 July (daily) and Nashville on 6 September (daily). The ULCC has 12 Boston routes this winter.

Boston Airlines

Orlando MCO replaces Washington DCA as Boston’s leading destination

Cirium tells that the Boston has non-stop flights to 127 destinations in W23, of which 77 are domestic and 50 are international. Comparing W23 with W22 shows that Destin Fort Walton Beach, Houston HOU and Westchester are no longer served. However, Bermuda, Bogota, Grenada, Mexico City, Norfolk, Ottawa and San Salvador have been added.

In all, Orlando MCO has the most capacity, overtaking Washington DCA which was first in W22 and in the pre-pandemic period. Two of the three carriers have reduced DCA capacity: American (-34%) and JetBlue (-24%). Only Delta has increased it (+20%).

Orlando MCO is served by four carriers, down by one versus W22 following the exit of Southwest in September 2023. Based on mid-December, there are 107-weekly flights: 53 by JetBlue, 28 by Spirit, 21 by Delta and 5 by Frontier.

Top 10 Boston destinations

London Southend Airport