Indy Airport Leading the Midwest Air Travel Recovery

The Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is leading the Midwest recovery when it comes to passenger air travel in 2023. Last year more than 9.7 million people flew through the Indy airport, a 12.6 percent increase over 2022 – and a 2.6 percent increase over 2019. This is a new record for the Indy airport with the total number of passengers served with award-winning Hoosier hospitality.

“IND is making a strong recovery overall,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. “Our peer medium hub airports in the Midwest region are showing an average recovery of about 96 percent compared to 2019 with the Indy airport at more than 102 percent recovered.”

Business travel has also shown a significant recovery in 2023, making up 46 percent of the total air travel out of Indy, with 52 percent represented as leisure travel and 2 percent identifying as a new mix of blended travel for both business and leisure reasons.

“These are numbers we’ve been looking forward to,” said Marsha Wurster, IAA senior director of commercial enterprise. “As business travel increases, we’re sharing that demand with our airline partners, and that’s fueling crucial conversations on new domestic and international routes.”

Fall Break was the biggest travel season in 2023, with more than 950,000 passengers flying through Indianapolis in October 2023. Fall Break was 8.6 percent higher than 2023 Spring Break travel, which still performed strongly with more than 879,000 passengers. In addition, there were nine months that had the highest number of total passengers in the airport’s history compared to the same time periods in previous years: January, February, April, June, July, August, September, October and November in 2023, respectively.

In the airport’s history, nine out of the top ten busiest passenger days occurred in 2023, with the Indy 500 and Memorial Day Weekend travel taking the top spot for the year, along with seven single-day records for Fall Break travel and July 23 when Indy hosted the Delta Sigma Theta National Convention. The highest passenger day in the airport’s history remains when Indianapolis hosted Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

In 2023, several airlines launched new nonstop flights or resumed nonstop flights that had been previously halted due to the pandemic. Frontier launched a new seasonal nonstop flight to Phoenix from January through April 2023 and its nonstop Raleigh-Durham flight in May 2023. Additionally, Southwest Airlines resumed its nonstop Kansas City flight in April 2023 and its nonstop San Diego flight in June 2023. In addition, Delta Air Lines announced the return of their nonstop flight to Salt Lake City, which will begin flying out of Indy again on March 10, 2024. 

IND served 47 nonstop destinations in 2023.

Sun Country Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Delta Air Lines, respectively, all experienced growth in 2023 with increases in flights out of the Indy airport and increased seat capacity, compared to 2022.

Overall, flights were up 7.9 percent, and airline seat capacity increased by 16.5 percent in 2023, compared to 2022.