Airport reports near record breaking passenger traffic figures for 2023, marking one of its best performing years ever

WILLEMSTADCuraçao Airport Partners NV, CAP, is pleased to report the year end 2023 passenger traffic results of Curaçao International Airport. Total 2023 passenger movements (all Arriving and Departing Passengers through our terminal) were 1,707,889, a +17% increase compared to year end 2022 movements. CUR was one of the first Caribbean destinations to recover passenger traffic figures by year end 2022 and in further comparing 2023 total movements with 2019, the increase is of +18%. For 2023, CAP reported 665,389 International Departing Passengers, an +16% increase compared to 2022; Dutch Caribbean Departing Passengers, 134,534 an +20% increase compared to 2022; Arriving Passengers, 817,910 an +18% increase compared to 2022.  

In 2023, Curaçao International Airport increased seat capacity through airline partners who added frequencies, launched new service and or up gauged equipment. Total capacity was 2,111,140 seats (in- and outbound), an +11% increase over 2022 with an average Load Factor of 84%, a 4-point growth over 2022.  

Diversification Strategy Successful  

Post Covid, CAP focused on the recovery, and revised the short-term strategy towards retention and diversification of the route network. The emphasis was placed on South America and the USA as the primary regions for further growth and stimulating diversification. The increase in demand for the destination through public and private tourism partnership initiatives and further supported by a significant growth in room inventory, contributed to positive 2023 results. CUR recovered passenger traffic in 2022 and grew significantly in 2023.  

The 2023 passenger traffic market share per region was distributed as follows, The Netherlands, a 37% share; Dutch Caribbean 17%; USA 20%, South America 16% and Canada 4%.  

Additional and New Air Service Development  

In the fourth quarter of 2023, air service from the Amsterdam gateway increased significantly with the launch of non-stop service from Corendon Airlines commencing with three (3) weekly flights and increasing to five (5) weekly flights as of December 2023. TUI increased to double daily non-stop and direct flights as of the winter schedule from Amsterdam. KL introduced the new business and premium comfort class seating on the B777 aircraft and increased flights to double daily service during the winter peak demand periods. In addition, the strongest feeder cities from Europe via Amsterdam were Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris-CDG, London-Heathrow, München, Zurich and Düsseldorf. 

From the USA, even though there are still crew, staffing and ATC challenges, JetBlue increased non-stop service from five (5) weekly New York-JFK frequencies to daily. American Airlines increased non-stop Charlotte frequencies from weekly to daily as of winter 2023. To further compliment CURs route network, Delta launched weekly non-stop Saturday service from Atlanta. In addition, the strongest feeder cities from the USA to Curaçao are Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, New-York JFK, Washington-National, Atlanta, Boston and Orlando.  

The Canadian market has increased with Air Canada non-stop service from weekly to three (3) weekly year-round flightsIn addition, WestJet has announced a second (2nd) non-stop weekly flight from Toronto for winter 2023.  

The South American market gained additional flights from Bogota and Panama. Copa Airlines increased from five (5) weekly to daily non-stop flights from Panama. Avianca increased non-stop service from Bogota from eight (8) to eleven (11) weekly flights. In June, Azul Airlines launched non-stop, and shortly thereafter, increased flights to twice (2x) weekly service from Belo Horizonte to Curacao. The launch of non-stop service from Brazil has been an important achievement for the destination and the further diversification of the route network. Curaçao is Azul Airlines’ first Caribbean destination. The strongest feeder markets from South America are Sao Paulo-GRU, Medellin, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cali, Santiago de Chile, Lima and San Jose, Costa Rica. 

The Dutch Caribbean demand for inter-travel increased primarily to visit family and friends, for business purposes and sports and social events.  

Curaçao International Airport’s route network comprises of nineteen (19) airline partners, and twenty-three (23) gateways. 

CUR 2024 outlook - a record breaking year  

The outlook for 2024 passenger traffic results is that of a record-breaking year through a moderate growth of 6%. The 2023 total passenger movement figures fell 2% below the airport’s highest year-end passenger traffic results in 2015. CAP does remain aware of the volatile airline industry. The geo-political issues in various regions are causing tensions on a global level. In addition, aircraft, crew and staffing issues continue to impact the industry. 

Route network retention and contained traffic growth will be the focus for CAP in 2024. CAP anticipates the volumes of daily movements throughout the airport to remain at the current pace and the airport community continues to ensure an efficient, safe and secure passenger experience. In addition, CAP continues to work in close partnership with public and private tourism partners to further grow the demand for the destination in a sustainable and profitable manner. 

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