MIAMI — Miami International Airport has experienced one of its busiest first six months of the year ever recorded, with 688,000 more passengers flying through its terminals than what was logged in 2018.

According to the airport’s officials, this represents an increase of 3%, totaling 23.4 million passengers during the first six months of the current year.

The airport notes that out of the 23.4 million passengers, 11.4 million were on international itineraries—about half a million more passengers than what the airport logged in 2018. Likewise, domestic traffic climbed to 12 million—a 1.4% increase over last year.

This rise in passenger numbers can be attributed to the latest new airline routes that have opened services at MIA.

“We have had an outstanding year so far in terms of expanding and diversifying our route network,” said Lester Sola, MIA Director, and CEO.

“We look forward to the second half of 2019 bringing additional growth and more exciting route development announcements.”

Just recently, MIA strengthened its position as the US airport with the most diverse portfolio of airlines by welcoming the inaugural flight of LOT Polish Airlines from Warsaw, Poland. The scheduled service is currently running four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays on the carrier’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Furthermore, Royal Air Maroc launched its first-ever flight from its hub in Casablanca, giving MIA the first passenger flights to Africa for the first time since 2000, when South African Airways moved to Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport (FLL), eventually discontinued.

Royal Air Maroc’s service to MIA will link to the airport’s big oneworld hub, boosting the connectivity with American Airlines (AA) and other alliance members such as LATAM to its Lain America and the Caribbean networks.

Also, in June, the French leisure carrier, Corsair, launched nonstop services between Paris-Orly (ORY), becoming the airport’s 102nd carrier flying into the airport.

Photo: Maxime

Together with Norwegian Air’s sudden move from FLL to MIA on its London-Gatwick (LGW) service, American Airlines (AA) also added new flights to Cordoba, Argentina, boosting international numbers by a considerable amount.

“The continued growth of business and leisure travel at MIA means additional tourism revenue and jobs within our local economy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.

“After another record-setting year in 2018, it is encouraging to see our global gateway climb to new heights in passenger traffic.”

With such steady traffic and airline growth, the airport has been granted a $5 billion improvement plan by the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners.

The 15-year expansion plan also includes smaller-scale upgrades on the four other airports of the county, with a projected completion date of 2035.

According to the airport, the project brings “the ability to stop or adapt as necessary,” keeping it flexible to unforeseen macroeconomic and geopolitical fluctuations.