Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Highfill announced Tuesday (Jan. 14) enplanements rose 17% to a record of 922,533 in 2019, from 788,261 in 2018.
“The record growth in 2019 is a reflection of XNA’s efforts to cultivate continued working relationships with airline partners, the addition of new non-stop destinations and the region continuing to invest in our growing airport,” said XNA CEO Aaron Burkes. “We look forward to 2020 and strive to surpass new milestones while continuing to put our customer experience as a top priority.”
Enplanements comprise the passengers who fly out of the airport. Total passenger enplanements and deplanements, or those flying into the airport, rose 17.3% to 1.85 million in 2019, from 1.57 million in 2018.
“This is a direct result of our thriving economy as well as the investment our airlines have made in providing ease of travel with 19 direct flights,” said Blake Woolsey, chairwoman of XNA’s Board of Directors. “We are grateful to our community and visitors for using XNA for their business and leisure travel.”
By comparison, between January 2019 and November 2019, enplanements at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock have risen 5.2% to 1.03 million, from 980,851 in the same period in 2018.
Enplanements at Fort Smith Regional Airport rose 5.7% to 95,670 in 2019, from 90,501 in 2018.
In June, low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines started operating at XNA, offering nonstop flights to Denver. In December, XNA changed its name to Northwest Arkansas National Airport. The change was to better communicate to where passengers can travel from XNA, said Andrew Branch, chief business development officer for XNA.