The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on Northwest Arkansas National Airport.
After a record-breaking 922,000 passengers in 2019, the pandemic’s U.S. arrival in March has caused people to avoid air travel from XNA and other airports nationwide. XNA is on pace to end the year with about 360,000 passengers.
The airport shared statistics Tuesday that showed 28,648 passengers boarded flights at XNA in November, down from more than 77,000 in November 2019. November’s boardings were a decrease from October, but better than XNA experienced during the spring and summer months.
All five carriers servicing XNA — Allegiant Air, American, Delta, Frontier and United — continue to fly from XNA just as they did in 2019, but each of those airlines are flying less often than last year.
American Airlines, the dominant carrier at XNA, flew 271 times in November to Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth and Charlotte. Those flights averaged 50 passengers in November. It was 13,560 passengers for the month.
United, which goes to Houston, Denver and Chicago O’Hare, carried 6,387, averaging 37 people per trip.
Delta Air Lines has limited its flying to only Atlanta, suspending service during the pandemic to Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York LaGuardia. It flew 4,312 to Atlanta, averaging 40 people per flight.
Low-cost airlines Frontier and Allegiant carried more people on each of their flights, but they don’t fly as often from XNA as the other airlines.
Frontier made nine trips to Denver in November, averaging 102 people per flight. Its planes can carry 168 passengers.
Allegiant Air, which jets people to Las Vegas and Orlando/Sanford throughout the year and serves other destinations on a seasonal basis, carried 3,434 people on 38 flights, averaging 90 passengers. The airline is using planes that carry 156 passengers.