Denver International Airport sets all-time passenger traffic record in 2022

More than 69.2 million passengers traveled to, from and through DEN in 2022

Denver International Airport (DEN) released passenger traffic statistics for the full year of 2022. The airport served 69,286,461 million passengers, an increase of 17.8% as compared to 2021 and 0.4% over 2019. Even through a major winter storm that impacted overall passenger traffic at the end of the year, DEN surpassed pre-COVID numbers. Previously DEN’s busiest year ever was in 2019 with 69,015,703 annual passengers. October 2022 was the busiest month of the year with over 6.5 million passengers and ranks as the busiest month ever at DEN.

“Our airport’s recovery in 2022 to pre-pandemic levels of passenger traffic is nothing short of extraordinary, but it exemplifies the importance of DEN as a national and international hub for air service,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “As the largest economic engine in the state, DEN continues to lead Denver and Colorado to new heights.”

For the year, 58.8% of DEN’s passengers were origination and destination (O&D), meaning they began or ended their trip in Denver. This nearly matched DEN’s O&D percentage for 2021 of 58.7% but is 5.6 points lower than the 64.4% O&D passengers handled by DEN in 2019. Connecting passengers made up 41.2% of total passengers in 2022, representing the highest percentage of connecting passengers since 2014.

Notably, 2022 was also the busiest year for international passenger traffic at DEN, with volume reaching more than 3.3 million, 74.7% above 2021 and 4.6% more than 2019. Eight months in 2022, including the seven last months of the year (June through December), set new records for international passenger volume. July 2022 now ranks as DEN’s busiest month ever for international passenger traffic.

“It’s no surprise that 2022 was the busiest-ever year on record for DEN. The airport benefited from resilient passenger and cargo demand,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “Additionally, ongoing investment by our airline partners provided the capacity to achieve this new record. We look forward to future growth in 2023 and beyond as we work toward achieving Vision 100 – 100 million passengers.”

In 2022 DEN’s largest carriers by market share as measured by total passenger volume were United (46%), Southwest (31%), Frontier (10%), Delta (5%) and American (4%). 2022 was the busiest year on record at DEN for both United and Southwest.

For the year-to-date October 2022 period, DEN continues to rank as the third-busiest airport in the world, behind only Atlanta (ATL) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW). Full year global airport statistics are expected to be available this spring.

In terms of cargo, 2022 also set a record, with volume totaling nearly 725 million pounds. 2022 marks the first year since 2003, nearly two decades ago, that DEN’s annual cargo volume exceeded 700 million pounds. Volume was up by 7.5% as compared to 2021 and 7.7% as compared to 2019.