Northwest Arkansas National Airport experienced its busiest month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airport saw 31,367 people leave from XNA in October.
The pandemic started impacting air travel at XNA in mid-March, and it slowed to a crawl when just 3,151 passengers boarded flights in April. The passenger numbers increased in May and June and leveled off at about 25,000 per month in July, August and September.
Still, those improved numbers look nothing like what XNA experienced in 2019 when the airport’s slowest month (January) produced 56,615 fliers and its best one (June) top 90,000. The airport broke passenger records repeatedly in 2019, ending the year with 922,533 travelers.
American Airlines continued to be XNA’s workhorse, carrying 15,952 passengers on 287 flights to Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare in October. It averaged 56 passengers per trip.
United Airlines had 6,348 passengers last month, averaging 36 passengers per flight. It’s flying nonstop to Chicago O’Hare, Denver and Houston.
Delta Air Lines, which has reduced its service to XNA more than the other airlines, flew 111 times last month, exclusively to Atlanta. Its average is also 36 passengers per flight.
Allegiant Air, which is currently offering nonstop service from XNA to Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando and Phoenix/Mesa, saw 3,921 passengers. It averaged about 96 passengers per flight, meaning the typical Allegiant flight is about two-thirds full.
Frontier Airlines, which carried 1,172 passengers on nonstop trips to Denver, flew nine times from XNA in October. Its 180-seat planes are carrying an average of 130 passengers.
American, Delta and United use smaller planes to serve XNA but they fly their routes more often than Allegiant and Frontier.