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With unprecedented 43% annual growth, AVL served 1.6 million passengers in 2019

(Asheville, N.C.)  The numbers are in, and Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) served an astounding 1.6 million annual passengers in 2019.  Specifically, 1,616,762 passengers utilized a commercial flight at AVL last year, on one of these six airlines:  Allegiant, American, Delta, Elite, Spirit and United.

Passenger numbers grew by 43%, the largest annual leap in the airport’s history, making 2019 the sixth consecutive year of record growth, and the seventh consecutive year of growth.  For two years, AVL has consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing airports in the country, and growth is expected to continue into 2020.

“The first thing I want to do is thank our local travelers for choosing to fly from AVL,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director.  “And second, I want to thank our airline partners who have made long-term and solid investments in our community.  Our region appreciates the incredible air service we have and the airlines who provide it.  And I especially want to express sincere appreciation to the many employees at the airport who work hard every day to provide an exceptional airport experience for our passengers and visitors.  What a year!”

There were many contributors to the unprecedented growth in 2019.  Seven new routes were added in 2019 by four different airlines, with 19 nonstop destinations on the route map at year end.  But the addition of new routes is not the full story.  Growth also occurred because more travelers purchased tickets to fly to and from AVL – on average, planes were about 80% full, even with an influx of new routes in the market.  The airport welcomed more visitors than ever before, a reflection of the vibrancy of Asheville and western North Carolina as a desired visitor destination.  And most airlines also added seats to existing routes in the market. 

Managing growth

“A 43 percent increase in customers in one year is exciting and challenging,” said Bleiweis.  “The team at AVL is committed to managing the growth well so our customers and business partners continue to have positive experiences.”

To manage the significant and fast-paced growth, the airport is currently building additional parking for both passengers and aircraft.  A remote shuttle parking lot will open in late spring or early summer, and will be located directly across the street (Asheville Highway) from the parking garage and terminal.  New aircraft parking is under construction south of the terminal, and will be completed by the end of the year, which will accommodate up to three additional planes.  Next week, important utility upgrade work will begin along Terminal Drive.

Strategic planning for an expanded and renovated airport terminal is also underway, and more information about a design process will be shared with the community soon.


By the numbers




















Other key highlights

  • 2019 – Significant growth in nonstop destinations:  new or expanded routes
    • Dallas Fort Worth on American Airlines – expanded from Saturday seasonal to year-round daily
    • Detroit on Delta (Saturday service)
    • LaGuardia on American (weekend service) and Delta (Saturday service)
    • Palm Beach on Allegiant (twice weekly)
    • Philadelphia on American (daily service)
    • Sarasota-Bradenton on Allegiant (twice weekly)
    • Washington-Dulles on United (twice daily)


  • Year-round daily service to six international hubs
  • Served by six airlines:  Allegiant, American, Delta, Elite, Spirit and United
  • AVL contributes nearly $1.5 billion in economic impact annually
  • New or expanded nonstop routes coming in 2020:
    • Austin on Allegiant – 2x/weekly (May 2020)
    • Boston on Allegiant – 2x/weekly (May 2020)
    • Chicago on Allegiant – 2x/weekly (May 2020)
    • Chicago on American Airlines – Saturday service (May 2020)
    • Dallas Fort Worth on American Airlines – expanding to 2x/daily (March 2020)
    • Houston on Allegiant – 2x/weekly (May 2020)
    • LaGuardia on American Airlines – expanding to daily service (June 2020)
    • Philadelphia on American Airlines – expanding to 2x/daily (March 2020)
    • Washington, D.C. on American Airlines – Saturday service (May 2020)


Asheville Regional Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the country, with frequent daily flights to 22 nonstop destinations, including six international hubs offered by six airlines:  Allegiant, American, Delta, Elite, Spirit and United.  For more information, visit

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