DETROIT — Passenger traffic at Detroit Metropolitan Airport held steady in 2011, up a slight 0.1 percent over 2010 totals. The airport saw 32,406,159 total passengers last year, up from 32,377,064 in 2010, according to the Wayne County Airport Authority.

Meanwhile, 455,169,670 pounds of cargo passed through the airport in 2011 compared to 426,324,086 pounds in 2010, an increase of 6.8 percent.

“The growth in traffic at Detroit Metro Airport last year, however slight, is a positive sign in the current climate where airlines are exercising extreme capacity discipline and fuel prices continue to rise,” said WCAA interim CEO Tom Naughton. “The Airport Authority will certainly continue to identify opportunities for passenger growth, but the continued rise in cargo traffic at the airport year-over-year is indicative of where the real potential for future development lies.”

Total aircraft operations at DTW — the count of take-offs and landings by aircraft of any type — declined to 443,028 in 2011 from 452,616 in 2010. Total landed weights, which are a key metric in how the Airport Authority sets rates and charges to airlines for use of the airport, also increased slightly by 1.3 percent as airlines move to replace smaller aircraft with new, larger regional jets.

Delta Air Lines, which operates its second-largest hub and primary transpacific gateway at DTW, continued to be the airport’s busiest air carrier in 2011 handling approximately 80 percent of passenger traffic (including flights operated by Delta Connection partners). Southwest Airlines, which acquired AirTran Airways last year, overtook long-time runner-up Spirit Airlines for the second spot, carrying 5.18 percent of airport passengers. Spirit followed closely in third place with 4.1 percent of passenger traffic at DTW. A total of 13 regularly scheduled passenger airlines, along with scheduled cargo carriers FedEx Express and UPS Airlines, served DTW last year.

A complete year-end traffic report for DTW is available at

DTW offers more than 1,200 flights per day to and from nearly 150 destinations on four continents, and in 2010 ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction among large airports in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airport Satisfaction Study. The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive any tax dollars to support airport operations.


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