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Terrific passenger numbers at Northwest Arkansas National Airport are now so routine that it’s going to be big news when the airport doesn’t set a record.

March stuck to the routine. It was another record-breaker.


The airport on Wednesday shared its latest monthly statistics, showing 81,940 people boarded a flight to one of the airport’s 22 nonstop destinations.

XNA has exceeded 80,000 in March just twice in its 25-year history. The first time came last year when 80,742 people flew.

The outstanding March on the heels of a record-breaking January and best-ever February suggests 2024 could be a hum-dinger. Enplanements are 10.1% ahead of last year’s first three months.

If that growth continues for the rest of the year, Northwest Arkansas National Airport will finish with 1.1 million passengers. XNA fell just short of 1 million last year, seeing 991,000 people board its flights.

That annual amount was a record-breaker, too.

So much Orlando flying

There are increasing signs that airlines intend to take steps in the coming weeks to make terrific summer traffic possible at XNA. More seats being available for purchase is critical to achieving new records.

In the past few days, Frontier Airlines posted an updated schedule, showing it will re-establish its nonstop trips to Orlando International Airport, beginning June 6.

Those trips, which will take off every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday through Aug. 15, mean all three of XNA’s low-cost carriers will be flying nonstop to the Orlando market this summer.

Allegiant Air has been on the Orlando route for more than a decade, traveling from XNA to the Orlando/Sanford airport.

Breeze Airways flies nonstop on Wednesdays and Saturdays to Orlando International, the largest Orlando airport.

Frontier, which currently has its only flights from XNA going to Denver, previously offered Orlando service. It started in late 2021, but was discontinued early the next year.

There are other XNA summertime schedule changes of interest to travelers.

Delta Air Lines will begin making a sixth daily flight to Atlanta on June 7. It’s currently making that trip five times a day.

Delta also plans to increase its capacity to Minneapolis/St. Paul. The airline’s once-a-day flight becomes twice a day on May 16.

United Airlines has a looming increase in its frequency to Houston. It’s normal right now for United to make three daily trips to Houston; it’ll increase to five trips most days in June, July and August.

An XNA consultant’s report shows the airlines are selling 18.3% more seats in June this year than in June last year. The July seat availability is 21.8% higher than a year ago.

Busier summer for Allegiant

Allegiant Air always sees its best months of the year at XNA in June and July, and it’s really ramping up its schedule this summer.

Instead of the usual twice-a-week flights to Orlando/Sanford and Destin in Florida, the airline will make those trips far more often.

Its trip to Orlando/Sanford will be four times a week from May 20 to Aug. 10. Trips to Destin occur five or six times each week between May 19 and Oct. 19.

Allegiant, which generally flies on Thursdays and Sundays to Las Vegas, has a summertime flight on many Tuesdays this year. The first Tuesday flight to Sin City is June 25; the last departs Aug. 13.