Logan International Airport officials expect to set a passenger record for the third year in a row, squeaking past the previous high of 29.3 million to a projected 29.6 million travelers this year.
The steady growth is being driven by international travelers, whose numbers have risen 3.4 percent year to date from November 2012 to November 2013, ahead of a 2.9 percent growth in domestic passengers. From 2011 to 2012, domestic traveler numbers remained flat while international passengers shot up 9.8 percent, fueled in part by a new Japan Airlines route to Tokyo, the airport’s first nonstop flight to Asia.
The airport added a new flight to Panama City this year, and is adding routes to Istanbul, Dubai, and Beijing next year, which should push the international numbers even higher.
As it did last year, when the airport recognized a geologist from Maine as the 29 millionth passenger to pass through Logan in 2012, the Massachusetts Port Authority plans to hold an event celebrating the new milestone. “Special guests” have been promised for the celebration before a Friday morning Southwest Airlines flight to Fort Myers, but the airport authority declined to reveal their identities.
Before the last three record-setting years, the previous passenger high was 28.1 million in 2007. Travel dropped sharply during the economic downturn, with only 26.1 million in 2008 and 25.5 million in 2009 before starting to recover with 27.4 million in 2010.