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Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) celebrated its busiest year ever in 2019 with more than 4.2 million passengers passing through its facilities.


The total beat the previous all-time record by nearly 300,000 more travellers.

“Our momentum over the past 12 months, along with the community’s support, has been phenomenal,” said Dan Mann, executive director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority.

“Exceeding the four million mark is something we are very proud of and is a new milestone for our airport.

“This is a testament to our team, the airlines, our business partners and especially, the community. We thank everyone for their continued support of what we’re accomplishing each day to make this the best airport in the country.”

The year also celebrated its busiest day to date on Sunday, May 5, 2019 – immediately after the Kentucky Derby – with 14,510 scheduled departure seats.

Immediately following this record was another – the airport’s busiest month in history in June 2019 with 206,034 total enplanements.

“Direct flights are essential in making us attractive for businesses and visitors,” noted Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “I applaud the airport authority and their partners for their hard work to make it happen.”


These figures are the final capstone for the year that saw the launch of four new, non-stop destinations including direct service to the west coast by way of American Airlines’ daily flight to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

In addition, Southwest Airlines began non-stop service to Dallas-Love Field Airport (DAL) and Allegiant Air started service to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ).

Overall, the six airlines serving Louisville increased capacity on 20 different routes throughout the year by adding additional service to current destinations and upgrading seat capacity with larger aircraft.


“This is a great day for our city and our airport,” said Jim Welch, chair of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors.

“As we celebrate our best year ever for passenger and cargo traffic, we also look forward to building on this excitement in 2020 and beyond with our upcoming SDF Next Project that includes substantial investment in our terminal facility and airfield.

“These improvements are in addition to the $750 million investment announced by UPS in October, which will add even more jobs over the next 15 years here at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.

“This is an extraordinarily exciting time in the history of our airport and we have much to look forward to!”  

Projections for passenger figures and airline capacity for 2020 are already showing strong signs of building on the accomplishments of the past year.

“We know how successful 2019 was for passenger traffic, and we believe the numbers for 2020 will be even better,” said Mann.

“This is a really good time for SDF and the community. Great things are happening at Louisville’s airport.”  

The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is served by six airlines offering flights to more than 30 non-stop destinations, including 19 of the region’s top 20 domestic markets.


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