Las Vegas Sun

November 17, 2017

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McCarran starts year with uptick in traffic


Steve Marcus

Strip casinos are reflected in a window of the new Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control facility at McCarran International Airport Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

After witnessing one of the busiest years in its long history, McCarran International Airport began 2017 with another month of passenger growth.

More than 3.67 million people traveled through Southern Nevada’s airport in January, representing a jump of more than 120,000 people from the same month in 2016. That month last year was the third-best in the history of the facility.

International travel proved particularly strong last month with a 5.8 percent increase, as CES buoys air traffic for the month. Domestic traffic ticked upward at 3.3 percent. While low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines drove much of the increase in this segment last year, legacy carriers Delta (14.8 percent) and United (8.6 percent) experienced the largest bumps in January. Southwest, which recorded more than 1.35 million passengers in January, lost 1.1 percent from 2016.

The airport served 47.4 million passengers last year, making 2016 the second-busiest year in McCarran’s 68-year history. It marked the sixth consecutive year of increases and included a 4.5 percent increase from 2015. McCarran’s annual traffic peak came in 2007, when nearly 48 million passengers arrived or departed.

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