Travelers through Denver International Airport decreased 51% in 2020


AURORA | Passenger traffic was down 51% at Denver International Airport in 2020, but still managed to be among the busiest in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nearly 34 million passengers passed through the airport in 2020, according to airport leaders. That’s on par for what the airport saw more than two decades ago. 

In 2019, DEN reported serving more than 69 million passengers, making it the fifth busiest in the country. Pending final numbers for 2020, the airport is expected to have been the third busiest in the country and 16th busiest in the world. 

“2020 was a year like we’ve never seen before in the aviation industry,” DEN CEO Kim Day said in a statement. “After starting the spring with a precipitous 96% plunge in passenger traffic, DEN’s traffic has rebounded better than we predicted, and finished 2020 ahead of our projections. As we look to the future, DEN is positioned well financially and has a strong domestic network that will help us continue our recovery.”

On the slowest day in 2020, April 15, only 2,026 traveled through the airport. That same day a year prior, it was 56,386 people. The airport attributes a stronger year than expected to the addition of 16 domestic routes and robust cargo operations. 

“The 667 million pounds of cargo transported during the year was only a slight decrease of 1.6% from 2019,” according to a news release from the airport. “Volume on all-cargo carriers increased by 8% for the year, while volume carried by passenger carriers declined by 29%.” 

The airport is an economic hub for the state, generating about $33 billion for the region annually.