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KCI records 5th-busiest year in 2023 at new terminal amid ongoing pandemic recovery

Posted at 11:50 AM, Feb 02, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Air travel at Kansas City International Airport hasn’t quite eclipsed pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, but the travel industry continued a strong rebound in 2023.

Buoyed by the opening of a new single-terminal KCI in late February 2023, the airport reported more than 11.5 million arriving and departing passengers last year.

It’s the most since 2019 when nearly 11.8 million passengers passed through KCI’s gates and the fifth-busiest year in the airport’s history.

EXPLORE | KCI historical travel data

KCI set a record for passengers in 2000 (11,910,654), but the Sept. 11 attacks led to a dip in air travel in 2001.

Kansas City’s airport welcomed 11,601,958 passengers in 2001, putting KCI on pace to break the passenger record again before the terrorist attack.

Fewer than 10 million passengers passed through KCI’s gate from 2002 to 2005.

KCI nearly set a new record in 2018, the second-busiest year in KCI’s history with more than 11.85 million passengers, but the pandemic rocked the travel industry in 2020.

Fewer than 4.5 million passengers arrived or departed from KCI amid domestic and global travel restrictions. COVID-19 has contributed to nearly 7 million deaths worldwide in three years, according to Johns Hopkins University.

KCI reported 923,034 passengers in December 2023 — a 16.3% increase from the previous year, including an 18.9% increase in passenger boardings.