Enplanements (meaning the number of people boarding flights) at Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) fell almost 68% in 2020, and expected not to return to normal 2019 levels until possibly 2024, said CEO Aaron Burkes.
In January 2021, the total number of enplanements declined to 21,645 from 67,306 (-67.8%) this time last year.
However, this seems to be a broader issue among large commercial airports in Arkansas as well. At Fort Smith Regional Airport, flights fell -62.6% (2,574, from 6,888). Enplanements at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock also declined -55.3% (35,339, from 79,225).
Based on the S&P Global Ratings report, XNA’s enplanements are expected to reach 553,500 in 2021; 830,250 in 2022; and 876,375 in 2023. Nevertheless, Burkes is hopeful for the future and optimistic about the coming "herd immunity", which he expects to be achieved as soon as April, or at least by June. -Talk Business & Politics
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