McCarran traffic drops for fifth-straight month

Passenger counts at McCarran International Airport declined 1.1 percent in June, the fifth straight monthly decrease.

McCarran said Thursday it hosted 3,400,550 passengers during the month compared with 3,436,939 passengers in June 2009.

For the first six months of the year, passenger counts are down 3 percent at McCarran. More than 19.6 million passengers have come through the airport through June, compared with more than 20.2 million for the same six months of 2009.

Separately, McCarran's No. 1 air carrier by volume, Southwest Airlines, said it was making a seasonal reduction to its flight schedule in and out of Las Vegas starting in November.

The Dallas-based airline is temporarily dropping 12 round-trip flights, but only two permanently.

The two flights being dropped are a round-trip route between MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y., and one of its flights between Las Vegas and Ontario, Calif.

Southwest flew 1,355,442 passengers to and from McCarran in June, about 3,000 more passengers than it did in June 2009, and has carried more than 7.7 million passengers through McCarran in the first six months of 2010, a decline of .5 percent.

The airline also reported second-quarter earnings Thursday, saying its net income reached $112 million, or 15 cents per share, up from $91 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Total operating revenues for Southwest reached a record $3.2 billion, up 21.1 percent on a year-over-year basis for the company.

"Based on traffic and revenue trends to date, we expect strong year-over-year unit revenue growth in third quarter 2010," Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said in a statement. "Our year-over-year growth rates will face more and more difficult comparisons, of course, due to the rapid revenue recovery that began at Southwest a year ago."

Southwest said business travel has strengthened but not fully recovered from prerecession levels. But its core customer -- the leisure traveler -- has been packing planes. Southwest could set an all-time record for the percentage of seats filled in July.

Southwest was the last of the big six carriers to report second-quarter results. All except American Airlines parent AMR Corp. made money.

At McCarran, American Airlines was the airport's fourth busiest carrier, growing passenger counts by 2.1 percent in June and 2.8 for the six months of the year.

Delta Airlines, McCarran's No. 2 busiest carrier, flew 20.2 percent more passengers in June than a year ago. The airline's McCarran passenger counts are up 10.7 percent through June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Howard Stutz at or 702-477-3871.