BOSTON (CBS) – The number of passengers flying in and out of Logan Airport is climbing to new, record numbers.
In the first three months of 2016, a total of 7,519,148 people used the airport–and if the trend continues, Logan could see 36 million passengers for the year.
In the next two months, five new international airlines are scheduled to begin service out of Boston: Air Berlin to Dusseldorf, Norwegian Air to Copenhagen, Thomas Cook to Manchester, England, Eurowings to Cologne, and TAP Portugal to Lisbon. Norwegian is also awaiting final approval to begin flights from Boston to Cork, Ireland.
A major increase in the number of flights arriving and taking off has also taken place. After years of the total number of flights decreasing as larger jets went into service, 2016’s first quarter saw a 10.7 percent increase compared to 2015–that’s 8,253 flights.
“The airlines understand that we have a diverse economy,” said Massport CEO Thomas Glynn. “Planes are going out 80 percent full, and that is attracting the attention of other airlines.”
International traffic increased 23.6 percent, bringing 1,265,267 passengers in the first three months of the year.
Massport officials met Wednesday with the head of U.S. Customs to discuss ways to reduce arrival waiting times during the busy summer season.
“Everyone is on alert,” said Glynn.
Travel to the Middle East–an area where a spike in passenger numbers of over 50 percent occurred over the last year–is one of the biggest areas for growth. In addition to hosting two daily flights on Emirates Airlines and service on Turkish Airlines, Logan added flights on Qatar Airways this month.
Domestic carriers using Logan also experienced strong growth. Their total was up 9.1 percent to over six million passengers through March.
A new connector for flyers between Terminal C and the international Terminal E is expected to open in the late spring.
Massport officials are recommending that passengers arrive at Logan at least two hours before their flights to allow time to get through the TSA screening process.
All Things Travel reports with Bob Weiss can be heard on WBZ NewsRadio.