Northwest Arkansas National Airport saw 67,401 passengers last month, an early indication that leisure travel should be strong this summer.
April was the airport’s best month this year and its third best month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The airport’s traffic remains a step or two behind its outstanding 2019 when it saw at least 70,000 passengers for 10 consecutive months.
The April passengers boarded as airlines are being challenged by high fuel costs and a pilot shortage. That’s led some airlines to make cuts, concentrating their service on the most profitable routes. The cuts impact XNA’s summer schedule.
Breeze Airways this week indicated it will end its twice-a-week service from XNA to San Antonio. The last flight is May 30.
Allegiant Air has eliminated its flights to Austin this summer, but they are set to return in the fall. Its Houston Hobby service has been removed from all future schedules.
Frontier Airlines has paused its service to Orlando International, but it returns to the schedule on Oct. 12.
St. Pete, Lauderdale Going Well for Allegiant
Statistics kept by XNA give an indication of how some Allegiant routes are performing. The airport requires the data each month if airlines are receiving marketing money as an incentive for providing the service.
Allegiant’s flights to two of its newest Florida destinations appear to be going well. Flights to St. Petersburg/Clearwater, which serves the Tampa metropolitan area, averaged 144 passengers last month despite competition from Breeze Airways. Breeze flies three times a week to the Tampa airport.
Allegiant trips to Fort Lauderdale, which started in October, averaged 124 passengers last month.
There were fewer passengers last month on Allegiant’s other flights that started in 2021. Those other destinations are Houston Hobby (averaging 107 passengers last month), Austin (93) and Punta Gorda (59).