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Chicago O’Hare Served Nearly 74 Million Passengers In 2023

by Staff


  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport saw an increase of over 8% more passengers in 2023.
  • Midway Airport experienced a more than 10% increase in passengers, surpassing 2019 numbers.
  • Both airports combined welcomed nearly 96 million passengers, indicating thriving growth.

Both Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago–Midway International Airport (MDW) have experienced significant growth in passengers last year. Compared to 2022, ORD saw a more than 8% increase in passengers, while MDW experienced an increase of nearly 11% in passengers. The two airports combined welcomed nearly 96 million passengers in 2023, according to a report on annual passenger and operations data from the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).

Brandon Johnson, Chicago’s Mayor, spoke about the success of the two Chicago-based airports.

“O’Hare and Midway International Airports act as the front door to the greatest city in the world for tens of millions of travelers each year, and the statistics released today demonstrate that Chicago’s airports are thriving and ready to continue their growth. I look forward to welcoming even more travelers to our world-class airports this year, and I invite them to explore all that our 77 community areas have to offer.”

Growth at Chicago O’Hare

Per the CDA’s passenger reports, ORD saw 73.9 million passengers travel through the airport in 2023. This was an 8.1% increase compared to 2022. The report also stated that it experienced over 720,000 total aircraft operations, including 627,000 domestic operations and nearly 100,000 international operations.

Photo: Wirestock Creators | Shutterstock

The majority of these routes were passenger operations, but there were nearly 30,000 cargo aircraft operations as well. O’Hare saw nearly 2 million tons of cargo transported through the airport between freight, express, and mail operations.

The airport is also expected to continue growing in 2024 based on the airport’s forecast and posted schedules by the air carriers. The Terminal Area Forecast, which is posted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), predicts 41.5 million departing passengers in 2024 and 44.1 in 2025. This would be a large increase from the 42.2 million in 2019 and also an increase from 2023, which recorded 36.6 million passengers.

United Airlines, which is based in the Windy City, currently has 175 scheduled operations out of ORD this upcoming summer. This includes 15 routes to Europe, which is an increase from the nine European routes offered in 2019. United will begin a daily service in May to Athens, Greece, Winnipeg, Canada, and Quebec City, Canada. The airline will also commence new service to Tulum, Mexico, in April. Other airlines increasing service at O’Hare include Cathay Pacific, WestJet, and Frontier Airlines.

Midway passenger numbers

In 2023, MDW surpassed its passenger numbers from 2019. The airport saw a 5.5% increase in passengers compared to 2019. It also saw a 10.7% increase compared to 2022, as it welcomed just over 22 million total passengers. Over 20 million of these passengers were on domestic services, with the remaining 700,000 passengers transported on international services.

Southwest Airlines planes at Midway International Airport.

Photo: marchello74 | Shutterstock

Midway also saw approximately 230,000 aircraft operations, including passenger transport, general aviation, and miscellaneous flights. Just under 6,000 of these aircraft operations were international services. MDW has significantly fewer cargo operations than ORD and only saw 18,000 tons of cargo flown through the airport.

Have you traveled through ORD or MDW? Let us know in the comments.

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