(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- Miami International Airport set new all-time records for annual passenger and cargo traffic in 2012 with 39.5 million passengers and 2.1 million tons of cargo. The annual passenger total increased by 3.0 percent, up more than 1.1 million passengers from 2011, and cargo volume grew 4.6 percent. International passengers led the way with an increase of 5.2 percent to 19.4 million travelers, while domestic passengers grew by one percent to 20.1 million.
"Despite a national economy still struggling to rebound, MIA continues to reach new heights as our community's primary economic engine, "said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "I applaud the leadership team at MIA for another record-breaking year of outstanding growth."
MIA's passenger traffic benefited from hub carrier American Airlines beginning in November its largest schedule ever at the airport with 328 daily flights and expanded service to 38 cities. American launched six new routes from MIA in 2012 as well: Asuncion, Paraguay; Barcelona, Spain; Manaus, Brazil; Recife, Brazil; Roatan, Honduras; and Seattle, Washington.
MIA also added five new carriers in 2012: LAN Colombia began four weekly flights from Bogota; Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet began daily flights from Mexico City; Dutch Antilles Express began daily service from Curacao; Russian carrier Aeroflot began three weekly flights from Moscow; and Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL began weekly charter service from Sao Paulo in July that expanded to daily service in December.
With the addition of American's direct flights from Recife and Manaus, MIA is now the U.S. airport serving the most destinations in Brazil, with a total of seven cities: Belo Horizonte; Brasilia; Manaus; Recife; Rio de Janeiro; Salvador; and Sao Paulo. Brazil was MIA's top international market in 2011 with 1.4 million passengers, and U.S. Department of Transportation results are expected to show continued growth in 2012. Combined, American, TAM and now GOL provide 123 flights per week between Brazil and MIA.
While cargo tonnage growth at MIA was greater than projected in 2012, its value increased even more. Air trade value set a record in 2011 with more than $61 billion worth of goods and products transported to/from MIA, and estimates for 2012 are for that record to be surpassed by 10 percent, based on results through November. For a complete listing of MIA's 2012 statistics, see the attached report.