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Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport sets record with nearly 49 million passengers in 2023

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport reached a new milestone last year, with 2023 as the busiest year in the airport’s 95-year history. The airport served nearly 49 million passengers in 2023, which is approximately 2.5 million more than the previous record, set back in 2019.

The milestone came during a year that saw the Valley host Super Bowl LVII, the World Series and the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open. The airport recorded its busiest day ever with 200,000 travelers on Feb. 13, the day after the Super Bowl.

“The record-breaking number of passengers Phoenix Sky Harbor saw in 2023 is a testament to the efficiency of our airport and of the strong guest experience we offer travelers and businesses,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “I’m so proud to see our state’s number one economic engine in the state shine, particularly on the fronts of innovation and customer service. The airport has accomplished so much over the last year, and I look forward to welcoming new investments, development and programs in 2024.”

Recent milestones

In the past two years, Sky Harbor has reached a number of different milestones, including becoming the first airport in the nation to launch Mobile ID for Apple Wallet users, making it possible for passengers to board without a physical ID. In 2023, Mobile ID was expanded to accept Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet. 

Two new airlines made their home at Sky Harbor in 2023: Lynx Air and Flair Airlines, both Canadian carriers. 

Sky Harbor started 2024 with the announcement that Air France will be entering the market, marking the first direct flight between Phoenix and Paris. Service to France will begin on May 23. 

The future

Major events taking place in Phoenix likely contributed largely to the influx of passengers last year. However, Eric Everts, a spokesperson for Sky Harbor, says that these trends are likely to continue. 

“It was kind of a question of, ‘is this only because of the Super Bowl?’” Everts said. “Or is this going to be something we’re going to sustain? Month after month throughout the entire year, we continued to have our highest months on record. ... So I can only see it continuing this trend as we’ve been consistently that busy for the entire year.”

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Jacob Suever joined KJZZ as an intern in January 2024. Suever is currently studying for his bachelor’s degree in sports journalism at Arizona State University. Previously, Suever has interned with PBS NewsHour West as a production intern, as well as with the San Francisco Giants as a scoreboard operator.Suever is currently the broadcast director and play-by-play voice for Phoenix College Athletics, and is aiming to broadcast more than 60 baseball and basketball games this season. Suever, an Atlanta native, has a huge passion for radio broadcasting. He says his inspiration throughout his childhood and early college career has been Steve Holman, radio voice of the Atlanta Hawks.Outside of the arena, Suever is also passionate about his community, and understands the importance that local news can play on the well-being, safety and health of a population.Growing up, Suever had a very unique educational experience. Suever transitioned from Atlanta Public Schools at the elementary level to attend the prestigious Ron Clark Academy, a school that gave Suever the ability to see the world in a different way. By age 14, Suever had traveled to more than 20 states, to five countries and to three continents. To this day, Suever employs some of the techniques he learned in middle school to communicate and connect with others around the globe.Suever hopes to use his opportunity with KJZZ to continue to expand his knowledge as a reporter and use his stories to make a positive impact in the community.