International travel traffic continues to grow in Houston

According to a 2013 year-end traffic report released by the Houston Airport System, international passenger traffic at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) reached levels never before seen in the 45 year history of the facility.

International passenger totals from last year fell just short of the 9 million mark. The 8.9 million international passengers from 2013 represented an increase of 2.5 percent — up from 8.7 million passengers in 2012.

“George Bush Intercontinental Airport plays a key role in making sure that Houston is connected on a global scale,” says Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “That level of connectivity is important to our city, both from an economic standpoint as well as culturally. The record-setting passenger totals tell us that we’re doing a good job in making sure that connection is as strong as possible.”

The increase in international travel can be attributed to a number of factors, one of which is the arrival of new international air carriers. Air China and Turkish Airlines both launched nonstop service in Houston in 2013, flying to Beijing and Istanbul respectively.

Air China recently announced plans to expand their Houston to Beijing non-stop service in 2014 — from four times a week to daily beginning March 30.

HAS officials expect the growth to continue, especially with the opening of the new international terminal at William P. Hobby in late 2015, which will offer non-stop service to attractive destinations like Mexico, South America and the Caribbean.

Bush Airport serves as a global gateway to 68 international destinations and offers service to more Mexican destinations than any other U.S. airport.

Passport Note: This story presented by contributing editors from the Houston Airport System. For more information about the story, please contact Katena Carvajales at 281-233-1752.

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