More = Less = Better at RDU

The Triangle Business Journal had a recent article about Delta Air Lines, noting that the carrier intends to lift the “block” on middle seats on their planes effective May 1, 2021. That makes them the last major air carrier to do so, and it speaks to the growing strength of the commercial air travel system.

While the increasing return of air travel is great news for America, our region — and RDU International — what caught my attention and jogged my memory was a small data point at the end of the piece.

“Through February, Delta made up 29.2 percent of the market share at RDU in 2021. Year to date, the airline has boarded nearly 87,000 passengers at RDU, the most out of any airline, even with the middle seats blocked.”

As we think about the economic importance of RDU Airport to our regional community, it is essential that we remind ourselves that the level of competition among carriers at RDU is very strong, which bodes well for businesses and leisure travelers alike. With no carrier having 50% (or even 33%) of our market share, that maximizes the number of competitive air travel options for all of us.

Delta Air Lines recently reaffirmed RDU as one of only two remaining focus cities. American Airlines just announced three new destinations for the carrier, including RDU’s first nonstop to Destin, Florida. We wish all of our carriers increasing success, as they serve our growing market.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
Executive Director, Regional Transportation Alliance


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