In August and for the second straight month, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada had 4 million passengers fly in and out of the terminal as the Clark County Department of Aviation reported flights increased by 7.2 percent from last year, according to a CDC report.
The numbers reported for August totaled 30.1 million passengers for 2015, a 4.9 percent improvement over last year’s traffic up to that point. August’s numbers at 4 million come close to the all-time monthly record set in August 2007 at 4.3 million. McCarran’s July tally of 4.1 million passengers was the first time it hit the 4 million passenger plateau since March 2008. Much of the increase in domestic traffic to 3.6 million, a 7.8 percent increase and the driving force behind the numbers, was a combined result of an increase in passengers at Spirit Airlines by 27.4 percent, followed by American Airlines reporting a 7.8 percent increase and Southwest Airlines coming in at 6.5 percent.
Southwest Airlines, the market leader’s eight-month total of 11.9 million included its tally of 1.6 million passengers in August, a 5.3 percent increase over 2014’s numbers. Undergoing a system- wide expansion, Spirit’s business increased by 19 percent and tallied 1.8 million passengers for 2015 thus far, making it McCarran’s’ fifth busiest carrier. Only three domestic carriers out of the 13 operating at McCarran, United, Alaska and United showed a decrease for the month.
After two consecutive years of growth that approached or exceeded double-digit increases, international passenger counts continued to level off recording a 3.3 percent increase in August at 314,572 and an eight-month total of 2.3 million, a 5.8 percent increase from last year. However, August saw double-digit increases for six international carriers including the largest increase at Edelweiss (40.6 percent to 6,326), followed by Thomas Cook which recorded 38.6 percent to 9, 194, Korean at 28 percent to 8,227, Air Transat recorded 12.2 percent to 560, Air Canada came in at 10.7 percent to 55,621 and finally Aeromexico coming in at 10.2 percent to 27,387 for the month.
Numbers were flat for WestJet, the Las Vegas market’s dominant international carrier coming in at 93,741 passengers for the month. While Virgin Atlantic maintained its top overseas carrier status, the airline was down 4 percent from last year in August tallying 31,687 passengers, and British Airways saw a 7.7 percent increase from 2014 with a 27,676 passenger count for August.