MORRISVILLE – Nearly a million passengers flew through Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in March 2022.

In total, more than 937,600 travelers flew through the airport, according to the latest data, released earlier Thursday during a monthly meeting of the Airport Authority Board.

That’s an increase of 90% over passenger travel from March 2021, the airport noted in a statement, and an increase of 34% from February 2022.  Passenger travel was 112% higher in January 2022 compared to January 2021, prior reports found.

RDU says traffic up 112% in January

Air travel is back in demand, according to an interview that the CEO of Delta Airlines gave to CNBC earlier this month.  CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC that March was Delta’s best month ever for bookings — both for flights in March itself and for upcoming travel, adding that “demand is phenomenal.”

Another indicator that people are returning to the skies?  Publicly-traded airline carriers have begun to report earnings and forecast quarterly figures for the second quarter of the calendar year.  American Airlines disclosed that March 2022 was the first month since the onset of the pandemic that the airline had generated a positive profit, according to reporting from CNN.

Delta Airlines CEO: ‘Demand is phenomenal’

Options to fly increasing, too

“As passengers return to the skies in increasing numbers, their options at RDU are also growing,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority in a statement. “Airlines are making significant investments in the Research Triangle region by adding more flights and new destinations in time for the busy summer travel season.”

Earlier today, the airport noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had approved plans for a new runway that would increase runway length by more than 600 feet to 10,639 feet, enhancing passenger and cargo capacity for airlines.

Next month, RDU’s first new international flight since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, will begin service, as Icelandair begins nonstop service to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, in May 2022.  Avelo Airlines will also begin nonstop service in May, adding nonstop service to the greater New York City metropolitan area, and Frontier will add eight flight destinations.  In June, Air Canada is set to return nonstop service to Montreal.

FAA approved RDU’s plans for future runway, adding more than 600′ in length