RDU celebrates record-setting pandemic passenger numbers and new flights

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- More passengers departed from the RDU Airport during Christmas week than any point since the COVID-19 pandemic began hitting North Carolina in mid-March.

The TSA screened 52,812 departing passengers during the week ending December 27 -- a 14 percent increase from the previous week, but down 63.5 percent from the same week in 2019.

"I do believe there is a pent-up demand for travel," said Stephanie Hawco, Director of Media Relations at RDU. "I think people want to get out there and visit friends and relatives, and I think those are things we are going to continue to see."

The increase in passenger numbers at RDU mirrors a national trend.

RDU executives also announced new flights beginning in January:

  • American Airlines resumes nonstop service to Reagan National Airport (DCA)
  • JetBlue adds daily service to Austin (AUS), Jacksonville (JAX), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO) and Tampa (TPA)
  • In March, JetBlue will add daily service to San Francisco (SFO) and Las Vegas (LAS).

READ MORE: JetBlue adds flights from RDU

RDU executives said the new flights will help reconnect the Triangle to the major tech centers of Austin and San Francisco, while also providing service to some of the most popular airports RDU passengers want to visit for business and leisure.
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