Sunport Sets Post-Pandemic Travel Record During 51st Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Oct 19, 2023

Approximately 28,000 passengers travel through Sunport on Oct. 15, setting highest single-day traffic since before pandemic.

ALBUQUERQUE — The Albuquerque International Sunport set a new travel record during the 51st Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, welcoming approximately 316,208 visitors from Oct. 4-18 and marking a 9% increase since 2019. The Sunport also set a single-day post-COVID travel record during the city’s signature event on Oct. 15, as approximately 28,000 passengers traveled through the Gateway of New Mexico.

This year, Albuquerque offered an extra special incentive for spectators as the annular solar eclipse, which took place on Oct. 14, traveled in the direct path of New Mexico, attracting even more visitors to the Land of Enchantment. NASA named the Duke City one of the top places on the planet to view the celestial event.

“All year long we’ve seen steady increases in traffic, especially around the holidays, but last week with Balloon Fiesta, the Sunport was incredibly lively–and it was amazing,” said Richard McCurley, Director of Aviation for the City of Albuquerque. “Our Aviation team, including our Ambassadors and the K-9 crew, had a wonderful time greeting frequent and first-time visitors. We can’t wait to host them again next year.”

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which began in 1972, is the world’s largest and longest-running hot air balloon event, and this year the event attracted over 900,000 visitors from across the globe over a nine-day period. The 52nd annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is scheduled to take place from Oct. 5-13, 2024.


About the Albuquerque International Sunport

Owned and operated by the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation Department, The Albuquerque International Sunport is New Mexico’s largest commercial airport, welcoming over 5 million passengers each year. Served by eight major carriers, 3 cargo carriers and 2 commuter airlines, the Sunport offers nonstop service between ABQ and 29 destinations, with worldwide connectivity. The Albuquerque International Sunport is the Gateway of New Mexico.




NOTICE: On-site parking is limited. Please plan extra time to find parking.  Parking Info