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Charlotte Douglas sets a record for passengers in 2015

An American airlines jet takes off at Charlotte Douglas International airport on Dec. 23,2015.
An American airlines jet takes off at Charlotte Douglas International airport on Dec. 23,2015. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

More passengers used Charlotte Douglas International Airport in 2015 than ever before, the airport said Wednesday.

A record 44.9 million travelers passed through the airport, up 1 percent from a year ago. To put the airport’s growth over the last decade into perspective, the number of travelers is up 59 percent from 10 years ago: In 2005, 28.2 million travelers used the airport.

“We are elated to see those numbers climb and extremely proud passengers continually choose Charlotte Douglas as their preferred airport,” said Charlotte Douglas interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle, in a statement.

44.9 millionNumber of travelers at Charlotte Douglas in 2015

28.2 millionNumber of travelers at Charlotte Douglas in 2005

Charlotte is the second-busiest hub for American Airlines, behind Dallas/Fort Worth. The majority of travelers coming through Charlotte’s airport are connecting from one plane to another rather than starting or stopping their trips at Charlotte. At about 80 percent, Charlotte has the highest share of connecting passengers of any major hub airport.

The number of takeoffs and landings at Charlotte Douglas held steady in 2015, at 543,944. That’s down less than 1 percent from 2014, as airlines shifted more flights to bigger, more fuel-efficient planes. The number of international passengers dipped slightly in 2015, down 3 percent to 2.8 million, as American trimmed international service slightly.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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