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Chris Jones

Busy April Keeps McCarran on Record Pace for Passengers

19 May 2004

McCarran International Airport again enjoyed a record-setting month in April, handling more than 3.5 million arriving and departing passengers.

That total was the airport's best-ever April, up 22.1 percent from the same month a year ago, the Clark County Aviation Department said Tuesday. It was McCarran's third-busiest month in history, trailing only March 2004 and March 2001, which posted 3.63 million and 3.537 million passengers, respectively.

April's actual passenger count was 3,534,085.

"It was certainly more than I would have anticipated for April and shows that our traffic is back," said Randy Walker, aviation director.

Year-to-date, McCarran's passenger count topped 13.2 million. That's 14.5 percent better than the same period a year ago and on pace to shatter the airport's best-ever annual total of nearly 36.9 million passengers set in 2000.

"That's about as strong as I've seen it in the 14 years I've been associated with the airport," Walker said of McCarran's activity during the first four months of this year.

Among other factors, travel industry experts recently have said Las Vegas is benefiting from improved U.S. and global economies; favorable exchange rates for international travelers; a busy convention calendar; and the release of pent-up leisure traveler demand that dates back to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines was again McCarran's top carrier with 1.1 million April passengers, up 17.3 percent. Year-to-date, Southwest's local passenger count of 4.1 million is 8.9 percent better than the same period last year.

America West also reported a surge in its April count, which climbed by 15.7 percent to 575,907 passengers. Through April, the Tempe, Ariz.-based airline's Las Vegas traffic was up 14.8 percent to nearly 2.15 million.

United ranked third with 281,775 April passengers, up 24.5 percent. For the year, its passenger total was up 11.6 percent to slightly more than 1 million.

Delta Air Lines and American rounded out McCarran's top five with 226,949 and 217,951 April passengers, respectively. Those totals were up 15.6 percent and 9.1 percent.

Delta's year-to-date total of 906,548 passengers was up 5.8 percent, while American's four-month total of 837,893 passengers was a 6.6 percent improvement.