Port of Seattle reports nearly 13 percent increase in 2015
information from SeaTac Airport
Passenger traffic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport set a record for the fifth straight year in 2015, with over 42.3 million overall travelers, according to statistics released today by the Port of Seattle. The total represented a 12.9 percent growth rate over the previous year, including a 14.6 percent increase for international passengers. Sea-Tac has been the fastest growing Top 20 airport in the U.S. for the past two years. Final statistics are still to come for other airports, but Sea-Tac is expected to remain at or near the top in growth.
This growth rate is nearly double what we saw in 2014 7.7 percent and continues to reflect the importance of air travel and cargo to our region s economy, said Port Commissioner Tom Albro. Business and leisure passengers benefit as airlines provide more flights and travel options, translating into more jobs in the community. Our success, however, also highlights the urgency in planning for expanded facilities to meet this growing demand. We are committed to engaging the public and stakeholders in this critical effort.
The total 2015 passenger figure of 42,340,537 beat the previous record set in 2014 of 37,498,267. The new total is roughly equal to the number of visitors the city of Las Vegas welcomed last year. Sea-Tac now sees an average of more than 115,000 travelers per day nearly the size of the city of Bellevue.
Domestic traffic rose 12.7 percent, while international traffic grew at a 14.6 percent rate compared to 2014. International passengers increased to 4,380,346. In 2015, Sea-Tac saw the introduction or announcement of 30 new services on five different airlines, including five new (previously unserved) nonstop destinations: Charleston; Dallas-Love Field; Helena; Oklahoma City; and Raleigh/Durham. The added number of flights did not reduce how full the planes were as Sea-Tac s load factor rose one percent to 88 percent. Load factor is the average number of seats filled for any flight out of Sea-Tac.
Air Cargo increases follow investments
Air cargo numbers also continue to see growth in 2015, led by the increase of international freight. Total air cargo jumped for the fourth straight year in 2015, increasing by 1.7 percent to 332,636 metric tons, including a 7.1 percent jump in international freight to set another record at 115,357 metric tons.
These increases are directly tied to the $20 million investment in two major air cargo projects opened in 2015 to attract the newest, larger freighters being used by the industry. For the first time, Sea-Tac saw more than 1,000 of the largest freighters in one year, with 1,050 in 2015, including at least 175 of the newest Boeing 747-8F and 20 of the Antonov-124 (normally, we typically see 2 -3 of the Antonovs each year). More than half (54.4 percent in 2015) of Sea-Tac air freight is carried aboard freighter aircraft.
Record sales in dining & retail
A record number of passengers also spent a record amount of money in dining and retail during 2015. Preliminary sales for restaurants, shops and passenger services totaled more than $241 million, a 9.7 percent gain over 2014. Sales per boarded (or enplaned) passenger was $11.46. Sales for food and beverage jumped 13.5 percent, while retail sales saw an increase of 7.4 percent. The Port earned just over $36 million in revenues from dining and retails sales, which go directly back to airport improvements. More airfield details
Airport operations (aircraft landings and departures) increased 12 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, with 381,408 operations. This was the fifth straight year Sea-Tac has seen an increase in travelers. The last yearly decrease came in 2009 (-3.0 percent) after the national economic downturn. Since 2002, Sea-Tac s passenger traffic has seen an annual increase in 12 of the last 13 years. Measured by percentage, 2015 s 12.9 percent increase is the largest increase at Sea-Tac since 1986, when traffic jumped 19 percent. Anthony s Restaurant, in the central terminal, is believed to be the highest grossing airport restaurant in North America with a little more than $14 million in sales for 2015.
Notable 2015 product sales from Hudson retail:
131,969 Seahawks items sold
8,930 Sleepless in Seattle night shirts
51,191 packages of mini pretzels
105,663 packages of peanut M&M s
butter London: sold 20,190 nail lacquers, performed 15,682 manicures and 8,152 pedicures.utter London: sold 20,190 nail lacquers, performed 15,682 manicures and 8,152 pedicures.
Massage Bar: served 50,000 customers and performed 87,000 massages of 15 minutes each.