MSP Airport Passenger Traffic Increased 11 Percent in 2023

MSP Airport Passenger Traffic Increased 11 Percent in 2023

January 31, 2024

Growth Driven by 47% Boost in International Passengers

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) surpassed 34.7 million total passengers in 2023, closing in on its all-time record of 39.5 million passengers set in 2019 just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 total marks an 11% increase compared to 2022, when MSP logged 31.2 million passengers.  

The growth of the past year was driven by ongoing recovery in international travel. MSP totaled 2.98 million international passengers in 2023, a 47% increase over the 2.04 million international passengers in 2022. 

“We are encouraged by the rebound in international service to new and existing destinations,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which operates MSP. “We continue to see growing demand for travel overseas, to Canada, and to warm and sunny destinations across Mexico and the Caribbean. Heading into this new year, we remain focused on providing travelers with exceptional airport experiences and supporting airlines as they increase nonstop destinations and frequencies of flights for Minnesota businesses and travelers.” 

See full 2023 MSP Passengers and Operations Summary

In 2023, Delta Air Lines resumed service to Tokyo, one of MSP’s most historically significant international routes. Canada’s second largest airline, WestJet, launched its first-ever service from MSP with flights to Edmonton and Saskatoon in western Canada. 

International service will continue expand in 2024. WestJet will add service to Regina, Saskatchewan, this spring. Aer Lingus will resume service to Dublin in late April after a four-year hiatus. Delta, MSP’s largest carrier serving 23 international destinations this year, will also launch flights to Ireland’s capital beginning in May.
Additional European service will arrive via Lufthansa when it launches its first-ever service in Minnesota on June 4 with year-round flights between MSP and the airline’s Frankfurt (FRA) hub in Germany. Lufthansa will become the 18th airline operating at MSP and is the airport’s first new trans-Atlantic carrier in more than four years. 

“Our collaboration with GREATER MSP Regional Air Service Partnership helps the MAC demonstrate the need and demand from local companies for global air service at MSP, and it played a vital support role in attracting Lufthansa’s new air service and investment,” said MAC Chair Rick King. “Lufthansa’s air service adds another year-round gateway to Europe and beyond that will benefit business and leisure travelers into the future.”

The positive momentum is clear in domestic travel as well. In 2024, MSP is projected to grow to 161 nonstop destinations with average daily departing seats tracking approximately 10% higher than 2023. To date, airlines have announced 16 new domestic routes from MSP this year, 12 of those by MSP’s hometown carrier Sun Country Airlines. It will be the only carrier to serve Houston-Hobby, TX (HOU); Oakland, CA (OAK); and Syracuse, NY (SYR) starting this spring.  Those new flights will increase Sun Country’s total destinations from MSP to 98, approximately double the destinations it served in 2017. 

Year-end reporting revealed that MSP supported 323,929 total operations (takeoffs and landings, all aircraft types) last year up 4.4% from 2022. Commercial airlines accounted for about 90% of total 2023 operations and averaged 798 per day, an increase from 756 in 2022.

Airlines served 156 nonstop destinations from MSP in 2023—up from 145 destinations in 2022— and served more routes with larger aircraft than in previous years. The use of larger aircraft resulted in 56,823 average daily departing seats, an increase of 12.2% compared to the 50,633 average daily departing seats in 2022.  
The top airlines at MSP based on 2023 passenger market share were:

1.    Delta*              70.28%
2.    Sun Country    11.30%
3.    Southwest        4.91%
4.    United*            4.56%
5.    American*       4.36%
6.    Spirit               1.32%

Percentages rounded. *Includes regional affiliates.