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The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport experienced the second best month in its 20-year history, narrowly missing its all-time record for the most passengers boarding flights in a single month.

July enplanements were 91,222 people, just 83 passengers short of June 2019. June, which is often the best month of the year at XNA, was the best month in the airport’s history.

July provided XNA with its first indication of just how well newcomer Frontier Airlines is doing at the airport, and the numbers made public by XNA today were strong ones.

Low-cost carrier Frontier’s three-times-a-week flights to Denver took off 13 times in July, averaging 166 passengers per flight. Frontier most often uses a 168-seat Airbus A320 for the trip.

XNA is having a killer year, boarding 525,454 passengers so far. While most airports in Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas are reporting passenger growth, none of them are able to claim anything remotely close to XNA’s 16.9 percent increase through the year’s first seven months.

By comparison, Kansas City International Airport was up 0.4 percent through June, and Tulsa International Airport was up 1.5 percent through June. Springfield-Branson National Airport saw an 8.7 percent in passengers through June.

To put XNA’s incredible growth in perspective, consider this: The airport is on pace to beat the number of passengers who boarded flights last year by about 130,000.

It wasn’t just the presence of Frontier Airlines that led to XNA’s great July.

Allegiant Air had a strong month, too, boarding 11,826 passengers. It’s the airline’s best month ever at XNA, boarding nearly 2,000 more passengers than it did in its previous best month (June 2019). The increase came because the low-cost carrier has expanded at XNA, offering flights to Nashville this summer. It also increased the frequency of its trips to Las Vegas and Destin for the summer months.

Despite the increases experienced by the low-cost carriers, XNA remains an airport dominated by American Airlines. It accounted for 47 percent of the July passengers. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines carried 18.8 percent and 17.9 percent of the month’s passengers, respectively.