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FareFlightNWA celebrates its one-year anniversary this month.

The program of the Northwest Arkansas Council encourages people to prioritize flying from Northwest Arkansas National Airport over airports in Tulsa, Kansas City and other cities.

In its first year, FareFlightNWA built partnerships across the region, and it’s leading a more consistent conversation in Northwest Arkansas about the most affordable flight options at XNA.

Launched June 3, 2019, the Council program started just three weeks before low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines arrived at XNA and started making flights from Northwest Arkansas to Denver.

The program has adjusted markedly since its start, shifting its messaging from finding the best XNA flight deals and informing Northwest Arkansas residents about new routes to messages focused on safe travel, wearing face masks or coverings while at the airport, and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

FareFlightNWA keeps its website up to date, is active on Twitter and its staff made 19 face-to-face presentations to 1,632 people about XNA’s improved air-service options and how to find the best fares in Northwest Arkansas. The presentations were to Kiwanis clubs, Rotary clubs, leadership groups, and chamber of commerce boards and committees. Later this month, FareFlightNWA for the first time will shift the conversations and presentations about XNA to Zoom meetings.

FareFlightNWA’s most unique effort occurred during an eight-week span that started in August 2019. The Northwest Arkansas Council partnered with six Northwest Arkansas tourism organizations on a social media campaign that encouraged travelers in Colorado to visit Northwest Arkansas.

Called the “Welcome Denver Travelers!” campaign, the campaign partners worked through the Northwest Arkansas Tourism Association and focused on travel from the Mile High City. Denver made sense because both United and Frontier airlines were offering affordable nonstop flights from the city. The campaign highlighted Northwest Arkansas’ strengths in the arts, outdoor adventure, cycling, craft breweries, High South cuisine and music.

The campaign partners were Visit Bentonville, Visit Rogers, Experience Fayetteville, the Bella Vista Advertising and Promotion Commission, the Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission, Northwest Arkansas National Airport and the Northwest Arkansas Council.