Arkansas’ three largest airports see traffic declines in January

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 23 views 

Arkansas. Blue suitcase with label at airport.

Editor’s note: This story is a component of The Compass Report. The quarterly Compass Report is managed by Talk Business & Politics, and sponsored by Arvest Bank. Supporting sponsors of The Compass Report are Cox Communications and the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.
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It’s not the way you want to start a year. Arkansas’ three largest commercial airports had enplanement declines in January after a 2015 in which the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) was the only field to post an annual gain.

A snow storm across the southeast U.S. was responsible for many cancellations Jan. 21-23. More than 10,500 flight cancellations were recorded as a result of the storm that ranged from the Carolinas through New York and up to New England.

The Clinton National Airport in Little Rock had 67,964 enplanements in January, down 1% compared to to January 2015. American Eagle (28.35%), Delta Airlines (27.90%) and Southwest Airlines (27.72%) were essentially tied in market share for the month. Of the three, only Southwest posted an enplanement decline (-2.86%).

2015 Little Rock enplanements totaled 996,837, down 3.96% compared to 2014. It is the first time the airport posted enplanements below 1 million since 1991. The airport is serviced by six airlines with flights to 16 cities.

January enplanements at XNA came in at 43,184, down 2.8% compared to January 2015. American Eagle, the most active carrier at the airport, posted January enplanements of 15,998, below the 16,595 in January 2015.

XNA set a new record in 2015 with 647,530 enplanements, up 0.43% over the record set in 2014. 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.

XNA is served by four airlines with non-stop service to 14 cities.

The Fort Smith Regional Airport had January enplanements of 5,500, down 20.5% compared to the 6,920 enplanements in January 2015. Enplanements in 2015 totaled 86,704, won 6.6% compared to 2014. Traffic at the airport was last above 100,000 enplanements in 2005. The airport is served by two airlines with connections to Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta.

ENPLANEMENT HISTORY (Clinton National Airport-Little Rock, since 2000)
2015: 996,837
2014: 1.038 million
2013: 1.085 million
2012: 1.147 million
2011: 1.103 million
2010: 1.124 million
2009: 1.134 million
2008: 1.193 million
2007: 1.267 million
2006: 1.275 million
2005: 1.265 million
2004: 1.138 million
2003: 1.063 million
2002: 1.101 million
2001: 1.211 million
2000: 1.276 million

ENPLANEMENT HISTORY (Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, since 2000)
2015: 643,320
2014: 640,537
2013: 581,487
2012: 565,045
2011: 562,747
2010: 570,625
2009: 540,918
2008: 571,845
2007: 598,886
2006: 586,320
2005: 583,940
2004: 511,714
2003: 448,228
2002: 400,063
2001: 374,122
2000: 367,157

ENPLANEMENT HISTORY (Fort Smith Regional Airport, since 2000)
2015: 86,704
2014: 92,869
2013: 84,520
2012: 86,653
2011: 86,234
2010: 86,129
2009: 78,432
2008: 87,030
2007: 99,127
2006: 94,717
2005: 102,607
2004: 92,928
2003: 90,493
2002: 87,944
2001: 95,419
2000: 104,182

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