Midway Reaches Passenger Record

Airport recorded passenger totals of more than 20 million in 2013.


Jan. 27--Midway International Airport recorded its highest passenger total in the airport's 86-year history in 2013, with more than 20 million passengers.

The total exceeds the airport's previous record, set in 2012, by nearly 5 percent, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Meanwhile, traffic at O'Hare International Airport grew slightly last year, up 0.1 percent to 66.9 million.

While both Chicago airports are seeing more passengers, those passengers are experiencing a lot of departure delays. Midway ranked dead last for on-time departures in 2013 among the 29 biggest U.S. airports through November of last year, recording an on-time rate of 68.8 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. O'Hare ranked second-to-last, with 71.4 percent of flights departing on time. December on-time data is not yet available.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement that Midway is "key to increasing economic activity and creating new jobs for Chicagoans," while serving as a component in achieving the city's goal of 55 million visitors a year by 2020.

Six airlines at Midway provide service to 75 destinations. The airport's dominant carrier, Southwest Airlines, flies to more cities from Chicago than any other airport in its network. Midway added 12 new destinations in 2013, including Jamaica, the Dominican Republic. In June, Southwest Airlines will launch new service to Boise, Idaho, and seasonal service to Portland, Maine.

From 2008 through 2012, Midway's growth in passenger traffic was 3.1 percent, compared to 0.6 percent average growth for airports nationwide, the aviation department said.

gkarp@tribune.com

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