ILM passenger numbers taking off thanks to new flights

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American Airlines jets on the runway at Wilmington International Airport. (Photo: WWAY)
American Airlines jets on the runway at Wilmington International Airport. (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Wilmington International Airport is on pace to have a record year for passenger traffic in 2018.

The airport has exceeded its 2017 numbers every month so far this year, including 85,701 passengers flying out of ILM in May. While the airport was seeing more passenger traffic — up more than 6 percent since last year — the massive spike can be traced to the airport’s newest airline.

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“The No. 1 reason is United Airlines,” Airport Director Julie Wilsey said. “We’ve added 410 seats a day in our market. We have the three strongest networks in commercial airlines.”

In November, United Airlines announced it would begin offering daily nonstop service to Chicago and Washington, D.C., this spring, giving the airport its third major carrier after Delta and American Airlines.

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