The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport exceeded 80,000 passengers in a single month for the fourth time this year.
The airport, which shared its latest monthly enplanement statistics on Monday, boarded 86,554 passengers in October.
XNA continues to smash records with the help of new flights, new destinations and a new airline have allowed the airport to break one passenger record after another. The now-21-year-old airport recorded its best month ever in June, boarding 91,305 people.
October’s boardings were 15.6% higher than the same month last year, and the airport for the year is 16.8% ahead of its 2018 passengers. It’s on pace for 920,000 passengers by year’s end.
Many airports are experiencing solid passenger growth, but few can match what’s happening at XNA. Through September, Springfield-Branson National Airport in Missouri was up 10.2%, and Tulsa International Airport saw a 2% increase in travel.
At XNA, it was an especially good month for Allegiant Air and American Airlines.
Allegiant, which provided summertime service to Nashville and increased the frequency of its flights to Destin and Las Vegas during the summer months, boarded 32% more passengers in October compared to the same month last year.
American, which added a daily nonstop flight to Philadelphia in September, saw a 26% increase in passengers. American remains XNA’s dominant carrier, boarding 51% of all XNA travelers.
United Airlines continues to have strong passenger numbers despite increased competition for travelers headed to Denver. The airline’s boarding in October were up 16% from a year ago.
The Denver competition is coming from Frontier Airlines, a low-cost carrier that started three-times-a-week flights to the city on June 27. Its October numbers were better than September as its 186-seat planes carried an average of 152 passengers. The flights in September averaged 132 passengers.
November and December should be good months at XNA. That’s because Allegiant starts twice-a-week flights to Phoenix/Mesa later this week, and American’s daily flights to Miami take off in December.
Nonstop flights like those typically increase travel from an airport.
Pictured at the top: American Airlines planes take Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport to the busy Chicago O’Hare International Airport (pictured). Between American and United Airlines, there are usually nine flights a day from XNA to the Windy City.