Updated September 24, 2020 - 11:15 am
Passenger counts at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport continued a slow ascent in August, when 1.7 million travelers passed through its gates.
That’s down 61 percent from August 2019, but still an increase of about 100,000 passengers over July, according to data released Thursday by the Clark County Department of Aviation.
Passenger volume has been gradually increasing since Las Vegas resorts reopened June 4 after being closed for 78 days. McCarran saw 1 million passengers in June and 1.6 million passengers in July.
McCarran spokesman Chris Jones foresees a slight shift in that momentum as fall begins.
Fall decrease normal
“We might start to see a bit of a decrease; it’s a natural thing that happens in the fall,” Jones said. “Especially in Las Vegas right now, without the meetings and conventions business, which is usually one of our biggest drivers in visitation during the fall months.”
The near-term travel outlook is still a bit unclear, as there are a few variables left to play out as 2020 closes out, Jones said.
“We’re really just waiting to see what the government is going to do. The travel restrictions in some of these other countries are affecting people’s ability to move. We have people waiting on the vaccine, people waiting on a lot of different things that may help them feel more comfortable to travel,” he said.
Through August, 15 million travelers have passed through McCarran’s gates, a 56 percent decline over the 34 million seen during the first eight months of 2019.
Southwest drops 54%
Southwest Airlines, McCarran’s busiest carrier, saw 668,511 passengers last month, a 54 percent decrease over August 2019’s 1.5 million.
Spirit Airlines was the second-busiest carrier in August, serving 275,676 passengers.
United Airlines saw the largest month-to-month increase with a 39 percent jump. It went from 62,313 passengers in July to 86,555 in August.
Hometown carrier Allegiant Air saw a 16 percent decrease in passenger volume, with 98,383 passengers in August, down from the 117,405 seen in July.