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Allegiant Air for the second consecutive month put more passengers on planes at Northwest Arkansas National Airport than it ever has.

The 16,020 people who boarded Allegiant flights in July came on the heels of the airline’s previous best month in June, when 14,947 passengers flew Allegiant from XNA.

The Allegiant statistics were included in a monthly passenger-focused document shared Tuesday by XNA administrators. The document showed the airport had 79,699 passengers in July. Passengers filled up 86% of all available seats being sold by the airlines.

The solid performance at XNA comes as the airport continues to see passenger numbers increase. It’s all happening as airports and airlines continue  a steady recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic crushed air travel in the spring and summer two years ago, and most airports have been slowly rebuilding traffic since that time.

Allegiant’s Lofty Summer

Allegiant’s best months at XNA always come during the summer, but its summertime volume this year was incredible.

The low-fare airline’s July stats were boosted by its decision to expand its offerings at XNA. Allegiant decided to add flights in the back half of 2021 from XNA to three places in Florida: St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Punta Gorda and Fort Lauderdale. Allegiant’s 27 nonstop flights to those cities last month averaged 162 passengers on 177- and 186-seat Airbuses.

The airline’s performance to other cities wasn’t as lofty but remained solid. Its 78 nonstop flights to Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando/Sanford, Los Angeles and Destin averaged 149 passengers.

Allegiant had the airport’s highest load factor, filling 89% of its seats.

After two record months in a row, the likelihood that Allegiant will add a third record month is exceedingly low. That’s because the airline will cut back on some of its flying, Its flights to Fort Lauderdale, for example, are paused until March, and its trips to St. Petersburg/Clearwater won’t take off again until October.

American Remains No. 1

With nonstop flights to key business destinations such as Dallas/Fort Worth, New York LaGuardia, Chicago O’Hare and Charlotte, American Airlines remains XNA’s primary carrier. Its 36,106 passengers last month accounted for 46% of all travelers.

Using mostly the 76-seat Embraer 175, American filled 83% of its available seats  at XNA.

Other performance stats gleaned from last month’s XNA data:

  • United Airlines flew 244 times, averaging 49 passengers per trip. Its load factor was 88%, and it often relies on 50-seat planes.
  • Delta Air Lines, which has Atlanta as its primary destination, flew 148 times, averaging 71 passengers per trip. Its load factor was a solid 87%.
  • Breeze Airways, which flew nine times to Tampa last month, averaged 93 passengers on its 126-seat Airbus 220s. It filled 77% of the seats.
  • Frontier Airlines had the airport’s lowest load factor at 73%. Its flights to Las Vegas and Denver took off 27 times, averaging 135 passengers.