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Airport traffic rises 6 percent in January

5 March 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The departure of New Year holiday revelers and the annual International Consumer Electronics Show helped boost January passenger traffic at McCarran International Airport nearly 6 percent higher than last year's pace.

Nearly 3.7 million passengers used the airport during the first month of the year compared with 3.5 million in January, 2006, according to figures released Friday.

Airport officials said it was the busiest January ever for McCarran, an ongoing monthly trend fueled by an ever-increasing number of Las Vegas hotel capacity, higher local traffic and the addition of 10 new gates in April 2005.

Southwest Airlines remained McCarran's largest carrier with 1.2 million passengers, followed by America West at nearly 700,000.

Among the airport's top five carriers, America West showed the biggest increase from 2006, up almost 26 percent.

American, which moved about 173,000 passengers through the airport, reported a 10.4 percent decrease compared to January 2006.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air posted a 15 percent increase in passenger traffic for January, ending the month at nearly 111,000.

There were 173,000 passengers who arrived and departed from McCarran's international terminal.

Air Canada led the international terminal group with nearly 49,000 passengers followed by Hawaiian Air, West Jet and Virgin Atlantic. Mexicana and Aero Mexico combined to ferry about 23,000 passengers through McCarran.

There were an estimated 300,000 visitors in Las Vegas for the New Year's holiday and the electronics show attracted about 140,000 people during the second week of the month.

McCarran officials project 47.9 million people will use the airport this year, which would represent an increase of 3.5 percent from 2006.