Southwest celebrates 30th anniversary at McCarran

On Jan. 25, 1982, Southwest Airlines arrived in Las Vegas with five flights a day in part of Concourse C at McCarran International Airport.

As of Wednesday, the 30th anniversary of the launch, Southwest has taken over all of C, part of the adjacent Concourse B and grown in the largest carrier by a wide margin. To mark the occasion, the airline brought in the standard Elvis impersonator and showgirls and had performers from several shows circulating among passengers at the baggage claim.

But as the rest of the airline system has grown, Las Vegas service has plateaued. The 193 flights scheduled this month is the lowest in more than five years. However, the number will rise to 227 in March, about equal to the level of previous years.

A large share of the flights go to sites in California, still the largest market for the Las Vegas visitor industry.

Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at or 702-387-5290.

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