AUSTIN (KXAN) — This year is officially now the busiest on record at Austin’s airport, with newly-reported passenger totals from October propelling 2022 into the top spot.
More than 2 million passengers flew out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in October, making it only the second month in history to cross that threshold. Only May 2022 had more passengers, about 20,000 more than in October.
From January through October, more than 17.5 million passengers were reported, beating the previous record of 17.3 million in 2019. Passenger totals for November and December are yet to be reported.
This year, airport officials are projecting a total of 21 million passengers.
October 2022 ranks as the second-busiest month of all time. The top eight months have all occurred this year.
In October alone, 2,002,078 passengers were recorded. May remains the busiest month ever at AUS, with 2,021,747 million passengers.
October’s total is a 31.6% increase compared to October 2021, which saw a little more than 1.5 million passengers.
Oct. 24 saw the most passengers in a single day for the month, with 43,177 in total, making it the busiest day ever at the airport.
Oct. 10, 17 and 25 also appear in the top 10 busiest days on record.
Southwest Airlines remains the largest airline operating at AUS in terms of passenger traffic. Almost four in 10 passengers in October traveled on a Southwest flight.
American Airlines is the second largest, with a quarter of all passengers flying with the airline. Delta Air Lines accounted for 11.4% of passengers at AUS and United Airlines flew about 11% of passengers. Alaska Airlines is a distant fifth, carrying 4.4% of passengers in October.
When looking at individual airlines, most saw year-over-year growth in October.
British Airways saw the largest growth in passenger totals. In October 2022, the airline flew 15,391 passengers, up from 3,412 in October 2021 — a 351% increase. The airline resumed flights in October 2021 after a 19-month pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hawaiian Airlines increased its passenger totals by 96%, while Allegiant Air saw growth of 85%.
Some airlines saw lower passenger totals this October compared to last. Frontier Airlines carried 12,601 this year, compared to 20,453 in October 2021, a decrease of 38%. Meanwhile, JetBlue Airways saw a 28% decrease in passenger traffic, and AeroMexico dropped by 3%.
Swift Air reported 204 passengers in October 2021 but none in October 2022.
Meanwhile, several airlines flew passengers in October 2022 but not in October 2021. Dutch airline KLM began its nonstop Austin-Amsterdam route on March 28, 2022.
German airline Lufthansa resumed its nonstop route to Frankfurt on April 8, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID. British airline Virgin Atlantic launched its nonstop route to London Heathrow on May 25.