Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Highfill is adding one-stop and two nonstop flights to three states, beginning in 2023, according to a Wednesday (Oct. 19) news release.
Low-cost carrier Breeze Airways will provide nonstop flights to Phoenix and Orlando, Fla., starting Feb. 17 and March 3, respectively. The one-stop flight to Charleston, S.C., starts March 3. According to the release, the one-stop flight does not require a plane change.
The three new flights will be on Mondays and Thursdays. The release shows that nonstop flights start at $49 for one way, and the one-stop flight starts at $69 for one way.
“Breeze is always looking for opportunities to bring our fast, efficient and affordable air service between underserved city pairs,” said Tom Doxey, president of Breeze Airways. “With great opportunities for outdoor recreation, family-friendly amusement parks, historic sites and so much more, we know that guests will really enjoy spending time in these cities.”
According to the Breeze website, the four-hour and 19-minute Charleston flight departs from XNA at 4:40 p.m., makes a 35-minute stop in Orlando and arrives at Charleston International Airport at 9:59 p.m. The two-hour and 50-minute Phoenix flight departs XNA at 9:05 a.m. and arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at 10:55 a.m. The two-hour and 25-minute Orlando flight departs XNA at 4:40 p.m. and arrives at Orlando International Airport at 8:05 p.m.
“Breeze Airways continues to be a reliable, affordable option for our leisure travel customers,” said Andrew Branch, chief operating officer for XNA. “The addition of these new routes demonstrates Breeze’s commitment to XNA, and we are excited for the opportunity to grow this partnership and better serve our customers.”
Branch said Allegiant offers seasonal nonstop flights to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which is further from Phoenix. The new Breeze route goes to Phoenix Sky Harbor, the primary airport. Also, he said Frontier Airlines tried a nonstop flight to Orlando in late 2021 and early 2022. But the carrier will not be flying this route. XNA does not have a flight like the new Breeze route to Charleston. However, passengers can take an indirect flight using another carrier, but the trip would require boarding another plane to get there.
Breeze currently offers flights from XNA to New Orleans and Tampa, Fla. It uses Embraer 195 e-jets and Airbus A220s for its flights. Recently, the carrier ordered 80 new Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with options for 40 more.
XNA enplanements, or passengers flying out, rose by 18.2% to 72,521 in September from 61,364 in the same month last year. Between January and September, enplanements have risen by 49.2% to 617,253, from 413,725 in the same period last year. Compared to the same period in 2019, enplanements are down by 9.5%.