Passenger volume at McCarran International Airport continued its rise in May, but it is still far from pre-pandemic levels.
More than 3.5 million travelers passed through McCarran’s gates in May, representing a 21 percent increase over April’s 2.9 million passenger count, according to data released Friday by the Clark County Department of Aviation.
Still, McCarran visitation numbers are far below pre-pandemic inflow. May’s figure was 23.3 percent below May 2019’s total of nearly 4.6 million passengers.
The monthly total brings the yearly passenger total — both arriving and departing — to 12.1 million, a 41.7 percent drop from the 20.8 million passengers at the airport in the first five months of 2019. Comparing 2021’s data to 2019’s gives a more accurate account of where recovery stands compared with 2020’s numbers, McCarran spokesman Joe Rajchel told the Review Journal in May.
Rajchel said Friday that the new data was “very encouraging.” Over the summer and into the fall, Rajchel said McCarran expects “this trend to continue as more people are getting vaccinated, the vaccines become more readily available to people, and as things open back up.”
Southwest Airlines, McCarran’s busiest aircraft carrier, topped the 1.2 million-passenger mark, a 22.7 percent jump over April’s 1,033,531 travelers. The number is still 19.8 percent lower than what Southwest saw in May 2019, as nearly 1.6 million passengers were served by McCarran then.
Domestically, JetBlue saw the largest month-to-month percentage increase, going from 51,841 passengers in April to 91,806 travelers in May, a 77.1% percent spike. JetBlue also had the largest increase in international flights, a 403.3 percent jump.
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air saw an uptick in passenger volume with 164,446 travelers in May, a 4.4 percent increase over April’s 157,461.