Las Vegas Sun

July 24, 2017

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Capacity cuts continue to take toll on McCarran passenger levels

McCarran International Airport has completed the first half of 2009 with passenger counts down at nearly the same level as airline capacity cuts.

The Clark County Aviation Department reported June traffic down 11.4 percent to 3.4 million passengers compared with the same month a year ago.

For the first six months of 2009, McCarran served 20.2 million passengers, down 11.8 percent from the same period in 2008. In that time, capacity at the airport declined by 9.2 percent.

Of the five busiest airlines serving McCarran, only Fort Worth, Texas-based American and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines showed increases in passengers in June. American, the No. 4 carrier at McCarran, served 194,482 passengers, a 15.5 percent boost, while Delta was up 1.3 percent to 189,160 passengers.

Market leader Southwest Airlines fell 4.2 percent to 1.4 million passengers in June, and No. 2 US Airways was off 37.9 percent to 422,411. No. 3 United was down 4.2 percent to 247,690.

In Las Vegas, the two busiest airlines have cut capacity while Nos. 3, 4 and 5 have added.

US Airways, which cut its night-hub operations in Las Vegas last year, has trimmed capacity 37 percent since June 2008. Southwest’s capacity is down 5.2 percent over the same period.

Meanwhile, United’s capacity is up 4.6 percent, American’s is up 10.7 percent and Delta’s is up 3.7 percent. Delta is in the midst of a merger with Northwest Airlines, which cut capacity by 4.6 percent in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, the No. 7 carrier at McCarran, continues to gain on No. 6 Continental with 182,620 passengers in June. For six months, Allegiant has served 951,199 passengers compared with Continental’s 972, 242.

Canadian upstart WestJet Airlines continues to be the dominant foreign carrier at McCarran with 371,655 passengers for the first six months of 2009. WestJet is followed by Air Canada, 234,129 passengers; Virgin Atlantic, 138,559; and Mexicana, 96,743.

International capacity in June was up 2 percent from a year earlier with WestJet, Air Canada, Korean Air and Aeromexico showing double-digit and triple-digit percentage capacity increases. In addition, Canada-based Sunwing Airlines began service at McCarran in the last year, while British Midland discontinued service to McCarran in April.

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