Denver passed 70 million passengers in 2023; gains 3 new international airlines in 2024

V8 Denver

The year 2023 was a record for Denver as it exceeded 70 million passengers for the first time. It did not just surpass that volume – it smashed it. It welcomed almost 78 million passengers, a considerable 12% over the previous record in 2022. International traffic was also at a record level. The Colorado airport ended last year as one of the world’s fastest-growing major airports. It was mainly because of growth by the two main incumbent carriers: United and Southwest.

Denver passengers 2004-2023

The leading three airlines have 89% of capacity

Examining Cirium schedules information data for the first half of 2024 (January-June) shows that United, LCC Southwest and ULCC Frontier account for about nine in ten seats. United has 46% of the airport’s capacity, Southwest 34% and Frontier – which was historically significantly larger at the Colorado airport – 9%.

In these six months, Denver is the most-served airport by seats for all three carriers. United serves 182 destinations on a non-stop basis. They include four that were introduced in 2023: Greensboro on 29 September (daily); Asheville on 29 September (daily); San Juan on 29 October (daily); and Montego Bay on 4 November (weekly).

Southwest serves 96 destinations non-stop, three of which began last year: San Jose (Costa Rica), which launched on 11 March 2023 (weekly); Bellingham on 15 April (weekly); and Myrtle Beach on 10 June (weekly). Meanwhile, Frontier’s network comprises 65 destinations.

While the trio of airlines have multiple routes that will resume in the first half of 2024, only one has not been served before. It is Southwest to Greenville Spartanburg, with a 2-weekly service starting on 8 June. It will compete directly with United (daily).

Top 10 Denver airlines first half 2024

Shannon AIrport

Denver gains three new airlines in 2024

Viva Aerobus began flying to Denver from Monterrey on 25 January 2024. The 2-weekly service connects the Mexican airport with Colorado for the first time since Aeromexico ended the route, which was previously served by ULCC Volaris.

Denver will welcome Breeze on 16 May with an initial 2-weekly service (later 4-weekly) from Providence. While the 2,780-kilometre route will at first face no direct competition, Southwest will return on 8 June (2-weekly) having last served it in 2014. The market had Frontier between 2017 and 2019 and briefly in 2022. Unusually for Breeze, it will operate through the night back to Rhode Island.

Most significantly, Denver will see Aer Lingus on 17 May, with a 4-weekly service from Dublin. It will be the first time that the Irish capital has had non-stop flights to Colorado. It will be Denver’s first long-haul carrier since Air France in 2021.

218 destinations served in the first half

When all airlines are considered, Cirium shows that Denver has non-stop flights to 218 destinations globally in the first half of this year. Some 189 are domestic, with flights to 48 US states and US territories. California, Texas, Florida and Arizona are the most served; they account for 37% of domestic seats.

While non-stop capacity does not indicate the specific origins-destinations of where passengers go, Denver’s most-served destination is Phoenix. It replaced Las Vegas, which was first in the first six months of 2023. The Arizona city has 177-weekly one-way flights in June: Southwest (97-weekly), United (35), Frontier (24) and American (21).

top 10 Denver destinations first half 2024

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