Thanks to the hard work of our employees and a well-defined strategic growth plan, 2014 proved to be yet another year of impressive gains at Miami International Airport.
With the continued support of Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the County Commission, we head into 2015 with healthy optimism, a clear path forward and the wind at our backs.
Our community’s gateway to the world continues to post impressive numbers in an industry that’s obsessed with statistics of every kind. For the fifth consecutive year, MIA set a new all-time record for passengers with 40.9 million travelers moving through the airport in 2014 — almost 400,000 more than the previous year.
MIA’s steady growth was boosted by the addition of eight new international destinations: Belém, Campinas and Fortaleza, Brazil; Brussels, Belgium; Cap-Haïtien, Haiti; Doha, Qatar; Helsinki, Finland; and Munich, Germany. These new destinations — a mix of busy mid-range routes and lucrative long-range connections — are in keeping with MIA’s plans to grow from an established hemispheric hub into a truly global gateway.
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The new Miami-Doha route on five-star carrier Qatar Airways is perhaps the most direct reflection of our strategic push into untapped markets at the far reaches of the globe. The service represents Florida’s only direct connection to the Middle East and links our community to destinations across the Persian Gulf, Africa and Asia.
Additionally, MIA added its milestone 100th carrier last year, making it the only airport in the United States to offer so many air-service options. More important, the eight new air carriers that we added in 2014 are projected to bring 6,800 direct and indirect jobs to the community and generate business revenues in excess of $830 million, assuming that each sustains operations at MIA for a full year.
Often overlooked, the airport’s cargo operation also set a new all-time record last year as 2.2 million tons of goods moved through MIA, which is an average of 6,000 tons a day.
Those totals were enough to maintain our spot as America’s top airport for international freight.
Overall, the combined impacts of passenger and cargo activity at MIA and the county’s general-aviation facilities equate to $33.7 billion in business revenue and 282,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Duck Tours driver heading down Ocean Drive with a bus full of tourists, the visiting art collector making big-ticket purchases during Art Basel, the Brickell hotel attendant checking in an Italian flight crew and countless others all share a real connection to MIA.
Our airport family is rightfully proud of this ever-growing community impact.
The year ahead promises more positive developments for our airport and, by extension, for our community.
Emilio T. Gonzalez ,
Aviation Department, Miami