Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport Passenger Volumes Surge

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Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport saw a significant rise in passenger volume in July, marking the third-highest monthly passenger count in its history.

The Clark County Department of Aviation revealed that 4.946 million passengers arrived and departed from the airport in July, as reported by The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

That represents a 1.7% increase compared to July 2022. This figure trails only October 2022, which saw 5.186 million passengers, and May 2023, with 4.953 million passengers.

While Nevada’s famous brick & mortar casino resorts might not be the beneficiary of all this increased visitation to Sin City, it will still be welcome news for the biggest U.S gambling destination.

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A Flourishing Travel Hub

The impressive figures for the airport in July have pushed the year-to-date total to 33.096 million passengers, which is a notable 13.5% increase from the first seven months of 2022.

Given that high passenger volume, Southern Nevada is well on its path to surpass the 2022 record of 52.7 million visitors for the year.

This consistent rise in passenger numbers has prompted airport executives to reconsider plans for a backup airport in the Ivanpah Valley, located south of Las Vegas.

Rosemary Vassiliadis, the Director of the Clark County Department of Aviation, stated in a February interview that the growth at Reid is projected to reach its limit of between 63 million and 65 million annual passengers by approximately 2030.

The Aviation head also revealed that the earliest a new reliever airport could be operational is 2037. That venue would be situated between Jean and Primm south of Las Vegas.

Domestic and International Traffic Trends

International traffic to Reid has shown a promising rebound. In July, the airport welcomed 290,546 international passengers, marking a 13.5% increase from the previous month. The seven-month total now stands at 1.8 million passengers, which is an impressive 41.4% ahead of the pace set last year.

Domestic traffic has also seen growth, with 4.6 million passengers in July, a 1.1% increase year-over-year. The continuous growth in passenger counts is attributed to the increasing number of seats available in flights coming into the Las Vegas market.

Southwest Airlines, the domestic market leader, has been particularly active, bringing more passengers into Reid than ever before. In July alone, 1.9 million passengers flew with Southwest, marking a 10.3% increase year-on-year.

However, not all airlines experienced growth. While Delta Air Lines saw a 7.4% increase, bringing their passenger count to 436,910, other major domestic carriers like Spirit, American, and Frontier witnessed declines in their passenger numbers.

On the international front, Canadian airline WestJet led the pack with 76,365 passengers, a significant 44.5% increase from the previous year. They were followed by Air Canada with 46,516 passengers (an 8.5% increase) and Mexican budget airline Volaris, with 26,816 passengers (a 21.5% increase).

Increase Expected to Continue

Las Vegas’ increasing visitor numbers is a trend likely set to carry on later into 2023 and early 2024, with several big-ticket events lined up for the city.

Earlier this month, the event schedule for the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix was released. The prestigious race is set to take place on November 18, with well-heeled international travelers booked in to attend in high numbers.

That means Harry Reid International has been forced to put on extra private jet parking spaces for the event. It will see tens of thousands of spectators watch multimillion F1 cars and their famous drivers speed around a track that takes in many of the most iconic casino resort views that the Las Vegas Strip has to offer.

Then, in February 2024, the city’s Allegiant Stadium will be host to Super Bowl LVIII, the 2024 edition of one of the world’s biggest sporting events.  

In recognition of the work the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has put in to bring in ever- increasing numbers of visitors to Sin City, as well as securing and organizing to-draw events, the Authority’s head, Steve Hill, was given a significant pay rise earlier this year.

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