The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport delivered eye-popping numbers today, boarding more passengers in May than in any month in its 20-year history.
The record-breaking 85,892 passengers far exceeded the previous record of 78,912 passengers in June 2018.
The airport’s passenger numbers for the year were 15.1 percent higher than the first five months of 2018.
That remarkable growth can be attributed, in part, to the increased service offered at XNA by the airlines.
The 40 flights a day that was typical in the spring 2018 increased to 44 flights a day in the spring this year. The biggest growth came from American Airlines, which added more daily flights to Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles. United Airlines expanded, too, increasing service to its Houston and Denver hubs.
Whether May remains XNA’s best passenger month for long seems unlikely, as June is typically the airport’s best month. The last time June wasn’t a year’s best month was 2003. The Walmart shareholders’ meetings in the region typically drive up the June traffic to and from XNA.
It seems likely that more and more passengers will be using XNA as the airlines have several new flights on the way. It’s possible that the airport could break its record multiple times this year.
That’s because Allegiant Air’s new service to Nashville wouldn’t have been part of the May numbers as the service started June 6. Frontier Airlines starts its three-times-a-week flights to Denver on June 27.
XNA is also seeing daily service added by American Airlines to new destinations later this year that should boost the numbers more. The nonstop service to Philadelphia starts in September; the first flight to Miami takes off in December.