May 25, 2016 - 11:07 pm
McCarran International Airport posted its best April performance since 2007, the last time it served more than 3.9 million airline passengers for the month, the Clark County Department of Aviation reported Thursday.
The nation’s ninth-busiest airport saw an overall 3.4 percent increase over April 2015.
Domestic flights continued to drive that growth at McCarran, as international travel continued to slightly decline. More than 3.5 million airline passengers boarded domestic flights last month, a 4.6 percent jump from a year earlier.
International flights arriving or departing McCarran carried 293,558 travelers in April, a 2.5 drop from a year earlier. While carriers from Europe and Asia continued to grow last month, there were significant declines reported by carriers serving Mexico, Canada and South America.
Mexican carriers Aeromexico, Interjet and Volaris were down 18.7 percent, 23.6 percent and 20.8 percent in April, respectively, compared the same period last year, airport officials said.
A weak currency exchange with the American dollar also led to a decline in Canadian travelers coming to Las Vegas, as Air Canada and WestJet were down 6.4 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively. And, South America’s lukewarm economy has affected Panama-based Copa Airlines, which was down 43.2 percent from last year.
Year-over-year figures show that more than 14.9 million airline passengers traveled through Las Vegas during the first four months of 2016, a 6.1 percent increase from the same period last year.
Four of the airport’s top five carriers continued to report growth, with No. 5 Spirit Airlines up 24.3 percent for the month to 254,043 passengers. Market leader Southwest reported more than 1.5 million passenger last month, a 3.2 percent increase from last year.
Once again, United Airlines, the fourth-largest carrier serving McCarran, showed a decline as passenger counts dropped by 5.1 percent to 309,165 passengers.
Contact Art Marroquin at email@example.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.