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Las Vegas air travel to increase as Las Vegas hotels open up more

Updated June 25, 2020 - 5:48 pm

Things are looking up for McCarran International Airport after it experienced record low travel volume during the coronavirus shutdown.

In August, over 330 flights per day are expected to land at McCarran, a stark difference from the 110 arrivals seen during the low point of the pandemic-related shutdown of Las Vegas.

The number of flights has increased from 145 scheduled per day in May to the almost 200 arriving flights seen this month to the 280 expected daily arrivals in July.

“McCarran International Airport is at the forefront of the Las Vegas comeback story,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, Clark County director of aviation, in a statement. “The significant investment in increased scheduling shows the confidence our airline partners have in travelers’ demand to return to our incredible destination, and it underscores the hard work being done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 here at the airport.”

Flight schedules will continue to rise as more hotels open in Las Vegas, which is mainly responsible for this month’s jump, after some resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown reopened June 4.

In all, 230 hotels reopened this month. By the end of July, 125,000 rooms are expected to be open valleywide, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports. Las Vegas has a total of just over 150,000 hotel rooms, according to the LVCVA.

“The reopening of Las Vegas was stronger than we expected,” said Steve Hill, CEO and president of the LVCVA, in a statement. “We greatly appreciate our airline partners recognizing the demand by investing in increased flights as we continue to open up additional casino-resorts and attractions and welcome our visitors back.”

The increases account for the restoration of services previously in place before the COVID-19 pandemic with a few new routes being added.

Southwest Airlines, McCarran’s busiest carrier, will see the biggest increase in summer flights, with 156 daily arrivals expected in August compared with 87 in May.

Delta Air Lines will increase from an average of 10 arrivals a day in May to 32 in August. Delta’s forecast flight increase includes the return of daily service from a variety of markets, including New York, Boston and Cincinnati.

JetBlue in August will launch twice-daily service between McCarran and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Frontier Airlines will see increases in service from Denver, Miami and various California cities.

Next month Spirit Airlines will see daily service from Tampa, Philadelphia and Columbus return.

By early July flights from select cities in Canada and Mexico will also return.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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