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The most stunning thing about the number of passengers who boarded flights at Northwest Arkansas National Airport last month isn’t that it was the seventh-busiest month in the airport’s history.

It’s that 89,524 people flew in April, which was never a busy month at XNA prior to this year. The previous best April came last year with 78,155 enplanements.

The top months in the airport’s 26 years all occurred in the past five years. They were:

  1. June 2023 (97,842 passengers)
  2. July 2023 (93,860)
  3. June 2019 (91,305)
  4. July 2019 (91,222)
  5. May 2023 (90,403)
  6. October 2023 (90,115)
  7. April 2024 (89,524)
  8. October 2019 (86,554)
  9. May 2019 (85,892)
  10. November 2023 (85,522)

What would be considered safe bets is that May, June, July, August and October this year could squeeze onto that Top 10 list. June and July, in fact, seem strong candidates to exceed 100,000 passengers apiece.

The airport for the first four months of the year has boarded 11.3% more passengers than it did in 2023, the airport’s best year. If that 11% or so were to continue, the airport would end the year near 1.1 million enplanements.

While there’s nothing exceptional to drive May’s traffic, it’s June that appears likely to become the airport’s best month so long as there’s not a significant disruption to the nation’s air travel industry.

Working in favor of a record-breaking June at XNA is the fact that the Walmart Associate Celebration is set for June 7, and thousands of people will travel to the region to participate.

It’s also helpful that Frontier Airlines, which has flown from XNA to Denver since mid-2019, restarts its Orlando International Airport service on June 6.

The Frontier flight to Orlando is scheduled to depart from XNA just about every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between June 6 and Aug. 15.

It also gives XNA three low-cost carriers – Frontier, Breeze Airways and Allegiant Air – all flying to Orlando. Tripadvisor predicted this week that Orlando will be the nation’s No. 3 summer travel destination this year, trailing only Las Vegas and Myrtle Beach.

Orlando is the only market where three airlines provide nonstop service from XNA.