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MSP Airport handled a record number of passengers in 2018

It just beat the previous record, set in 2017.

2018 was a record year for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, as it saw more than 38 million passengers pass through its terminals.

The total traveler number for 2018 was 38,037,381, which narrowly beat the 38,034,341 that used the airport in 2017.

That said, there was actually a slight decline in paying passengers – down to 36,778,496 in 2018 compared to 36,799,978 a year earlier, with the overall number taking into account passengers who fly for free – such as airline employees.

Nonetheless the figure was welcomed by Metropolitan Airports Commission CEO Bryan Ryks, who said it's a sign of "very strong demand for air service" at MSP.

The increase in passenger numbers comes despite a 2.1 percent decrease in landings and takeoffs from the airport, suggesting airlines are filling up more of their planes.

There were 407,476 landings and takeoffs last year, which is well below the 541,093 peak in 2004, which Ryks said is good news from an environmental perspective, reducing emissions and noise.

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Delta was far and away the biggest airline, unsurprising since MSP is its second largest hub.

Delta carried 71.4 percent of all MSP passengers in 2018, followed by Sun Country with a 6.4 percent share, American with 5.7 percent, Southwest at 5.3 percent, United at 4.3 percent and Spirit at 3.1 percent.

More routes are being added to and from the airport in 2019, with Sun Country launching new seasonal services to U.S. cities this summer, Aer Lingus launching a direct flight to Dublin, and Delta debuting direct services to Mexico City and Seoul.

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