8.6 million international passengers landed and took off at Houston airports last year, up from 8.5 million in 2010. The growth in international traffic spread across almost all markets. The sole exception was Mexico, where ridership fell nearly 4%.
Houston airports also handled a record 423 million metric tons in air cargo, up 6% from 2010. The airport system’s Darian Ward credits new Lufthansa and Qatar Airways freight routes at Bush Intercontinental for the gains.
“The new freight routes are mainly utilized to export industrial machinery and equipment for the oil and gas industry, as well as machinery and equipment for the engineering and construction industry. As new oil fields are being discovered around the world, demand for oil-drilling equipment and parts increases, and most of the machinery is produced around Houston.”
Existing carriers Saudi Airlines Cargo and Cargolux also expanded their Houston operations.