Las Vegas passengers down 96.4% in McCarran’s traffic report for April

Local News

FILE – In this April 21, 2020, file photo, a lone person works at the Delta airlines check-in desk at McCarran International airport in Las Vegas. The Transportation Security Administration said Monday, April 27, that it found 58 guns at checkpoints from March 22 to April 22, compared with 346 guns over the same stretch last year. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, flew 69,289 passengers in April — a 95.5% drop in passengers compared to April 2019.

Overall, passenger traffic dropped 96.4% as the bottom fell out of tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And international travel hit absolute bottom. Not one single passenger flew in or out on an international flight.

After years of seeing numbers climb higher, April’s report from McCarran is like a punch in the gut, to go along with the punch in the nose Las Vegas took earlier this week when April’s unemployment rate — 33% — put Nevada at the top nationwide.

This time last year, more than 16 million people had flown in and out of McCarran. So far in 2020, that number is stuck at just over 10 million.

June 4 can’t come soon enough for the staggered economy in Las Vegas, and air traffic is the lifeblood of recovery, ferrying tourists and conventioneers, along with Las Vegans who have someplace to be — like on a vacation, if you can imagine that.

When air traffic does start to heal, passengers will be wearing masks and following other rules set out by airlines.

Here’s a look at how McCarran’s Top 5 carriers did in April:

March’s report saw passenger levels drop by half.

The year-to-date numbers show how far behind Las Vegas has fallen behind travel norms — down 36% overall — and Southwest Airlines has seen a bigger hit than most, coming in at a 44% drop.

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