Stronger Than Expected Holiday Travel Numbers Make Orlando International Busiest Departure Airport in U.S.

Press Release

ORLANDO, FL. – The nation’s airports were busy this holiday season but few were busier than Orlando International Airport (MCO). According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), MCO was the busiest airport in the nation for departures 18 out of the 21 holiday travel days. Over that period, Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale combined make up 10 percent of all the departure traffic in the country.

“The 21-day holiday travel period was better than we projected at Orlando International Airport. We ranked busiest airport in the nation for departing passengers, consistently,” says Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “The introduction of a vaccine to combat COVID-19 combined with pent up demand, low air fares and our emphasis on a clean and safe travel environment for our guests all contributed to the strong
numbers.”

In total, nearly 900,000 passengers flew out of Orlando International for the holidays as compared to earlier estimates of 775,000. Even with the improved holiday numbers, traffic was down about 42 percent compared to last year’s 1.5 million Christmas/New Year’s departures. MCO now has recovered over 85 percent of its pre-COVID 19 domestic air service destinations.

2019-20 Actual Departures 2020-21 Projected / Actual
Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019 59,374 Friday, Dec 18, 2020 35,675 37,358
Thursday, Dec 19, 2019 63,549 Saturday, Dec 19, 2020 41,852 38,924
Friday, Dec 20, 2019 71,271 Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 43,131 44,399
Saturday, Dec 21, 2019 76,267 Monday, Dec 21, 2020 41,929 37,602
Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 72,429 Tuesday, Dec 22, 2020 37,613 38,679
Monday, Dec 23, 2019 71,753 Wednesday, Dec 23, 2020 38,982 48,519
Tuesday, Dec 24, 2019 58,854 Thursday, Dec 24, 2020 25,800 35,292
Wednesday, Dec 25, 2019 58,018 Friday, Dec 25, 2020 25,595 25,680
Thursday, Dec 26, 2019 77,109 Saturday, Dec 26, 2020 42,362 45,900
Friday, Dec 27, 2019 80,355 Sunday, Dec 27, 2020 44,571 51,876
Saturday, Dec 28, 2019 85,161 Monday, Dec 28, 2020 41,540 43,092
Sunday, Dec 29, 2019 80,727 Tuesday, Dec 29, 2020 36,910 38,715
Monday, Dec 30, 2019 80,174 Wednesday, Dec 30, 2020 36,426 47,478
Tuesday, Dec 31, 2019 66,857 Thursday, Dec 31, 2020 26,007 38,456
Wednesday, Jan 1, 2020 73,625 Friday, Jan 1, 2021 28,385 42,063
Thursday, Jan 2, 2020 79,009 Saturday, Jan 2, 2021 42,643 60,680
Friday, Jan 3, 2020 82,063 Sunday, Jan 3, 2021 44,971 60,855
Saturday, Jan 4, 2020 84,094 Monday, Jan 4, 2021 42,123 53,482
Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 82,451 Tuesday, Jan 5, 2021 33,397 39,498
Monday, Jan 6, 2020 77,092 Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021 31,725 29,689
Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 65,354 Thursday, Jan 7, 2021 33,199 32,160