Northwest Arkansas National Airport continues to see steady improvement, boarding more passengers last month than it has in more than a year.
With passenger traffic way down since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Arkansas in March 2020, the Northwest Arkansas airport is experiencing brighter days as more people are vaccinated and the pandemic begins to fade. The airport on Monday reported 41,261 passengers boarded flights last month.
It was the highest number of monthly passengers since 67,000 people flew from XNA in February 2020, and it’s a good sign as XNA heads toward the critical summer travel season.
The improvements at XNA are consistent with a national upward trend. The Transportation Security Administration, which staffs security checkpoints at U.S. airports, saw more than 1.5 million people pass through checkpoints on 12 days during April. That happened four times in May’s first nine days, and two of those days topped 1.7 million passengers.
In response to the better passenger numbers at XNA, the airlines have added service back to their schedules.
American Airlines, for example, is restarting its nonstop service to Miami, albeit only on Saturdays. United Airlines updated its schedule to show that it’ll fly more nonstops to Houston, starting in June. Delta Air Lines added more Atlanta flights, also starting in June.
People who are traveling are finding below-average airfares.
A check of Google Flights on Monday night showed it was possible to make a seven- to nine-day trip in June to 10 of XNA’s nonstop destinations for less than $300 roundtrip on certain days. The best deal was the $84, June 14-17 roundtrip on Allegiant Air to Nashville, but below $300 nonstops also could be found in June to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Destin, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando/Sanford.