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The number of people who boarded flights departing from Northwest Arkansas National Airport is up to 912,379 through the year’s first 11 months.

That keeps XNA well on its way to its record-breaking year, new information shared this week by airport administrators shows.

Its best year was 2019 when 922,533 passengers boarded departures. It’s probable that the airport saw Passenger No. 922,534 on Dec. 4 or 5, but the official year-end total won’t be known until after Jan. 10.

November on its own was impressive. The 85,522 passengers were the most the airport has witnessed in any November since XNA’s opening 25 years ago. It had never topped 80,000 in November.

XNA’s Leader

With American Airlines carrying about half of all XNA passengers this year, it’s remained the airport’s No. 1 airline since its opening.

United Airlines is a solid No. 2 at XNA, capturing 18% of travelers.

Delta Air Lines, which once carried 26% of XNA passengers, is down to 14% in 2023. It was the airport’s No. 2 carrier through 2018 and was passed by United the next year.

Led by Allegiant Air, three low-cost carriers carry 18% of travelers.

Passenger numbers

All five airlines in November saw their flights mostly full, something that’s happening consistently nationwide these days.

American, for example, relies heavily on the Embraer ERJ-175, a 76-plane that accounts for more than 90% of all AA flights from XNA. There were just four empty seats on a typical departing flight.

United, meanwhile, flew 240 times from XNA in November, averaging 65 passengers per flights. Its planes seat either 50 or 76 people.

Delta uses slightly bigger planes that United and American to serve XNA, relying often on the 110-seat Boeing 717 but also planes that seat 76 passengers. The average Delta flight, which go to Minneapolis and Atlanta, carried 86 people.

The biggest planes of all at XNA are used by low-cost Allegiant, Frontier Airlines and Breeze Airways.

Denver-bound Frontier led the way, averaging 143 people per trip. Its three flights last month on the 230-seat Airbus 321 averaged 174 people; the 71 departures on planes with 166 or 180 seats averaged 137 passengers.

Allegiant wasn’t far behind with 135 passengers per flight. The majority of its planes carry 156 or 186 people.

Breeze, which goes to Tampa, Orlando and New Orleans from XNA, averaged 108 passengers. Its planes seat 108, 118 or 129 passengers.