WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington International Airport is celebrating a major milestone as more than one million people traveled through it last year.
ILM shared the news during a press conference Tuesday.
In partnership with American, Delta, United airlines, ILM served 1,075,963 passengers. ILM says this was a 15% increase compared to 2018.
Airport Authority Chairman Donna Girardot says this million passenger milestone is a first for the airport.
“Growth has really come from the larger airplanes, more passengers, more destinations, and of course more of the residents from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties are using this airport,” Girardot said.
For some, Wilmington is a city of opportunity.
“Efficiently getting here and getting out is super important now,” Ben Escoe, a passenger, said.
Escoe flew more than a hundred skymiles from Portland, Oregon to Wilmington International Airport. For him, this is just the first of many more flights to the Port City.
“We work in fresh blueberries import, export and we are going to be packing our operations here and so we are going to be flying in here pretty often,” Escoe said.
Passengers like Escoe play a hand in ILM pursuing non-stop flights to other cities.
“American Airlines announced they will fly one flight a week on Saturday mornings between ILM and Boston Logan Airport,” Julie Wilsey, the airport director, said.
Wilsey says this will be the airport’s 9th non-stop flight.
“It will be once a week for the summer seasonal from May until August and they’re basically testing the market to ILM to see if we can fill the aircraft and grow that market,” Wilsey said.
Girardot says, once the airport terminal expansion project finishes, the airport should be on route for more growth.
“Now we’re moving into phase 3 which is the main terminal itself,” Girardot said. “When that’s completed, we’ll have more retail. We’ll have more restaurant capacity and more space for more passengers.”
More passengers means more business to help ILM soar into the next decade.
The Boston route will run on Saturdays from May 9 through August 15.
Starting January 18, you can book your nonstop flights between ILM and BOS.
The airport plans to surprise select groups of travelers with treats, free parking vouchers and limited-edition ILM socks.