EagleObserver

Flights On Rebound At XNA Airport

— Through its first 10 years of operation, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport posted incredible numbers. Passenger counts were constantly on the up and the Highfill-based facility appeared invincible.

But reality took hold in a big way to start 2009. XNA not only saw its numbers plummet but, heading into the annual Wal-Mart Stockholders Meeting here in May, passenger counts were down a whopping 18.17 percent year-to-year.

But a couple months ago the numbers all of a sudden started climbing again.

"It's really felt good around here the last couple months," said Kelly Johnson, XNA director.

In June XNA saw 116,080 passengers pass through its doors, up from the 112,799 that flew in and out of the Highfill airport in June, 2008.

XNA just received its July figures and, once again, monthto-month passenger counts are up. XNA saw 109,607 passengers pass through its doors in July, compared to 106,230 in July, 2008.Another significant contributor to the upward climb at XNA has been the addition of Allegiant Air, the airport's first low-cost carrier. Since starting service to both Los Angeles and Las Vegas this spring,

News, Pages 5 on 08/19/2009