RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- If Raleigh-Durham International Airport feels busier these days, that's because it is.
A total of 802,000 passengers flew through RDU in September 2021, 8% more than officials forecasted. For context, that figure outpaced last month's national recovery.
Officials said a decline in national COVID-19 deaths correlates with the rise in airline ticket sales.
"The trends we've seen over the past few months indicate RDU is in a good position to continue down the runway to recovery," Michael Landguth, president and CEO of RDU, said in a statement.
To sweeten the deal for potential ticket-buyers, RDU also announced that several popular routes are resuming in the coming weeks.
American Airlines will restore service to New York City's JFK Airport on Nov. 2, and a new nonstop flight to Tampa launches the same day. The airline's popular Cancun service then resumes Nov. 6.
Delta is bringing back flights from Newark Aiport and Washington, D.C. on Nov. 7, and Spirit announced a new route to Miami that will embark on Nov. 17.
RDU's airport authority announced Thursday that a new program will provide financial incentives for airlines to bring even more nonstop international travel options to the Raleigh-Durham area.
But air travelers should know that the airport's parking garage is increasing its drive-up rate by $1 a day beginning Nov. 1. The daily parking fee will remain at $10 for customers who book online 24 hours in advance.
"The increase comes as passenger traffic rises and the garage regularly nears capacity over the weekends and on holidays," the airport said in a statement.