Only one of Arkansas’ three largest commercial airports has year-to-date traffic gains, with all three fields posting declines in September enplanements. The results are not a surprise considering relatively flat patterns of national airline traffic.
September enplanements at the Fort Smith Regional Airport totaled 6,821, down almost 4% compared to September 2012. The Fort Smith Regional Airport is served by flights from Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth.
For the first nine months of 2013, enplanements at the airport total 63,764, down 2.5% compared to the same period in 2012. The trend continues to improve from a 7.4% year-over-year decline at the end of the first quarter.
American Airlines continues to be the largest carrier at Fort Smith with more than 58% of all enplanements for the first nine months of 2013.
Travelers flying out of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) during September totaled 47,212, down 0.29% compared to the 47,351 during September 2012. The airport has more than 10 service connections.
For the first nine months of the year, XNA enplanements total 435,743, up 2.7% compared to the same period in 2012. XNA is the only Arkansas airport to post positive year-to-date enplanements through September.
Although down in September, enplanement trends remain higher than the 2.42% year-over-year gain at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Enplanements at XNA totaled 565,045 during 2012, up just 0.4% compared to 2011. Although slight, the gain prevented XNA from posting two-consecutive years of enplanement declines.
American Airlines remains the dominant carrier at XNA with 42.27% of all enplanements for the first nine months of 2013. Delta is second with 27.29% of enplanements followed by United Airlines at 15.25%.
XNA’s first full year of traffic was 1999, and the airport posted eight consecutive years of enplanement gains before seeing a decline in 2008. It reached a peak of 598,886 in 2007.
Enplanements at the Bill & Hillary Clinton Airport (Little Rock National Airport), totaled 835,670 during the the first nine months of 2013, down 3.54% compared to the same period of 2012. September 2013 enplanements totaled 84,673, down 5.83% compared to September 2012.
Enplanements in 2012 totaled 1.147 million, up 4.07% compared to 2011. The 2012 numbers also ended five consecutive years of enplanement declines at Arkansas’ largest commercial field.
The largest carrier out of Little Rock is Southwest, with 30.8% of enplanements for the first nine months of 2013. American is second with 22.8%, followed close by Delta with 21.79%.
Delta Airlines reported total system traffic during September of 16.074 million enplanements, up 1.8%. The year-to-date traffic is up 0.7%.
American Airlines reported total September enplanements of 8.408 million, up 1.4%. For the year, the enplanements total 81.965 million, up just 0.5%.