Sky Talk

DFW Airport passenger growth slows in November


Passenger growth at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport slowed in November, the first full month since the Wright Amendment restrictions expired at nearby Dallas Love Field.

At its board meeting on Thursday, the airport reported passenger growth was up only 1.6 percent for November. The airport had 4.4 percent passenger traffic growth in its fiscal year 2014.

The Wright Amendment expired on October 13 and allowed long-haul domestic flights to anywhere in the U.S. out of Dallas Love Field. For November, Love Field reported a 43 percent increase in passengers as flight operations grew 37 percent at the airport.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the growth the city has seen at Love Field is tremendous but he is pleased to see DFW still growing.

“To be able to maintain growth says a huge bit about DFW but also talks about the marketplace as a whole being able to absorb everything, It’s like one plus one equals three,” Rawlings said.

In November, DFW Airport served 4,764,386 passengers while Love Field served 985,678 passengers.

Passengers flying on low-cost carriers declined at DFW by 5.8 percent mainly due to Virgin America moving its operations from DFW to Love Field on October 13.

While total passengers coming through DFW was up slightly in November, the number of international passengers flying in and out of DFW grew 8.9 percent. International passenger growth is expected to continue to grow significantly as Etihad Airways added three-times a week nonstop flights to Abu Dhabi in December and will increase to daily service in April.

“It shows the international growth at DFW continues to be absolutely critical,” airport chief executive Sean Donohue said at the meeting. “For the region to absorb all of that incredible growth and to have both airports growing is an incredible sign.”