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mcheiss

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA)

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Delta seems hell bent on forcing you through ATL or MSP as they have now cut DTW and soon CVG from XNA. I wouldn't hold my breath for SLC.

 

We may end up seeing a carrier like OneJet enter the XNA scene for a business route like XNA/CVG. Delta also cut MEM/CVG recently and that cut off Kroger from it's southern division hq. CVG will die a death of a thousand cuts as a Delta Hub now that Allegiant, Frontier and Southwest have made major inroads there in the past two years.  

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Frontier has decided to add insult to injury today. After restarting serice to Denver from Tulsa, Little Rock and Branson, they announced Wichita today.

Still no XNA, what is the deal?  I'm at the point to where it has to be the current leadership up there. 

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54 minutes ago, TRB said:

I'm at the point to where it has to be the current leadership up there. 

Could be ... with the current CEO announcing his pending retirement and the subsequent hiring of an executive search firm to find a new CEO for XNA, it may be good timing for a new leader(s) to take XNA to the next level with both business and leisure travel.

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Since someone else recently brought it up, I was wondering what others who know more about airport operations actually think about the current management at xna. I for one, knowing a lot less about airport ops, think that new leadership is desperately needed to get that airport growing

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21 hours ago, Greg T said:

Since someone else recently brought it up, I was wondering what others who know more about airport operations actually think about the current management at xna. I for one, knowing a lot less about airport ops, think that new leadership is desperately needed to get that airport growing

I don't know anything personally about the management.  I just think there's a huge elephant in the room in that everyone around Northwest Arkansas has joked, or, told the truth, that they will drive to TUL, MCI, SGF, FSM, etc, for better fares.  And that has gone on for years.  I travel several times per year for leisure and people I work with are shocked that I use XNA for all of it.  (I'd much rather spend a bit more to avoid those long drives.)  

That being said, I don't know that the legacies have any incentive to lower fares much, as they probably make a pretty margin from frequent last minute business trips that are essentially walk-up fares.  So landing a Southwest, Spirt, or Frontier may be the only option, with the latter being the most likely I'd guess.

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They aren't joking.

I'm going to Europe in summer 2019.  It's much cheaper using  Frontier or Southwest to get to an airport where ethere's some TATL.competition. Denver has been made on of those such places with Norwegian and the Iceland  based carriers. We are talking savings of several hundreds of dollars per person and when you are booking for 4, it can save thousands. The XNA anomaly is NYC. Flights there are cheap on the legacies only problem is there's no JFK service where the best TATL fares are found with a few frow Newark.

13 hours ago, jb1087 said:

I don't know anything personally about the management.  I just think there's a huge elephant in the room in that everyone around Northwest Arkansas has joked, or, told the truth, that they will drive to TUL, MCI, SGF, FSM, etc, for better fares.  And that has gone on for years.  I travel several times per year for leisure and people I work with are shocked that I use XNA for all of it.  (I'd much rather spend a bit more to avoid those long drives.)  

That being said, I don't know that the legacies have any incentive to lower fares much, as they probably make a pretty margin from frequent last minute business trips that are essentially walk-up fares.  So landing a Southwest, Spirt, or Frontier may be the only option, with the latter being the most likely I'd guess.

 

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21 hours ago, TRB said:

They aren't joking.

I'm going to Europe in summer 2019.  It's much cheaper using  Frontier or Southwest to get to an airport where ethere's some TATL.competition. Denver has been made on of those such places with Norwegian and the Iceland  based carriers. We are talking savings of several hundreds of dollars per person and when you are booking for 4, it can save thousands. The XNA anomaly is NYC. Flights there are cheap on the legacies only problem is there's no JFK service where the best TATL fares are found with a few frow Newark.

 

Oh I know they're not joking.  It should be embarrassing for XNA though.

On the NYC fare topic.  I'm assuming DL is depressing them a bit on XNA-LGA with their vying for some of the traffic against AA.  I do doubt that XNA-JFK is in the cards though.  At this point it would need to come from DL as AA seems to be prioritizing PHL and CLT for European connections.  And I'm assuming DL would not want to take that leap given their shakey footing with XNA-LGA for any traffic.  Who really knows though!

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XNA has published airport traffic statistics for May along with the first 5 months of 2018 ...

  • May 2018:  138,747 passengers / 5.22% increase over May 2017
  • January-May 2018:  583,786 passengers / 5.39% over first five months of 2017

June (and then July) is historically the highest passenger volume month for XNA so we may see the first six months of 2018 closer to a 6% increase over 2017.

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1 hour ago, OzarkSingleSpeed said:

XNA has published airport traffic statistics for May along with the first 5 months of 2018 ...

  • May 2018:  138,747 passengers / 5.22% increase over May 2017
  • January-May 2018:  583,786 passengers / 5.39% over first five months of 2017

June (and then July) is historically the highest passenger volume month for XNA so we may see the first six months of 2018 closer to a 6% increase over 2017.

Air traffic is up at just about at most airports.  My 'other' closely watched airport(MEM) is up around 7% for the year. 

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On 6/21/2018 at 8:24 AM, TRB said:

Air traffic is up at just about at most airports.  My 'other' closely watched airport(MEM) is up around 7% for the year. 

LIT is up about 2% through May of 2018 (810,000 passengers)...just starting to regain footing after several years of market pressure from the sunset of the Wright Amendment (DAL) and conversion of MEM to a competing O&D airport.

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17 hours ago, Architect said:

LIT is up about 2% through May of 2018 (810,000 passengers)...just starting to regain footing after several years of market pressure from the sunset of the Wright Amendment (DAL) and conversion of MEM to a competing O&D airport.

 LIT/PHX on Southwest goes away in JAN 2019. No new frequencies have been added yet to make up for that. Around the same time that goes away, MEM/DAL is being bumped to 3x weekday and most SUN and 2x on SAT, plus they are adding DEN in OCT. Southwest is cutting from PHX these days as DEN rises. When does Southwest add LAS to MEM, jeopardizing LIT's flight? 

Southwest should add  Denver and Nashville to LIT

Edited by TRB

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A few weeks ago the 'Arkansas Democrat Gazette' ran an article on the terminal renovations at XNA ... in the article, they stated that enplanements at XNA have been running about double compared to forecasted projections for several years which has officials looking to the future.   Terminal projects that will be required to meet passenger demand include parking decks, terminal rotunda, concourse and gate expansions, expanding security and baggage claim areas, arrival and departure lobbies, administrative space and improving access for aircraft.

In 2017, enplanements were 725,284 passengers and airport officials expect more than 1.3 million passenger boardings at XNA by 2035. 

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6 hours ago, TRB said:

 LIT/PHX on Southwest goes away in JAN 2019. No new frequencies have been added yet to make up for that. Around the same time that goes away, MEM/DAL is being bumped to 3x weekday and most SUN and 2x on SAT, plus they are adding DEN in OCT. Southwest is cutting from PHX these days as DEN rises. When does Southwest add LAS to MEM, jeopardizing LIT's flight? 

Southwest should add  Denver and Nashville to LIT

As I understand it, Southwest lists LIT-PHX service as "seasonal" so any gap in service is likely related to that.  

Also, I don't see MEM-LIT as a zero-sum game.  We're not talking about a huge (or even significant) population center BETWEEN Little Rock and Memphis that each metro is competing for...obviously those in eastern Arkansas will more often opt for MEM since it's just as close (or closer) with more connection options, but those are not huge numbers.  It's doubtful that has much, if anything to do with which market gets direct PHX or LAS flights.  Each market either supports service to a destination, or it does not.  Surely there's little in play between the two these days (now that SWA serves both markets).

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Still no Frontier yet at XNA  bit they are adding the likes of Asheville NC and even Lafayette LA to their DEN and MCO stations. Sure it's less than daily but still........

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12 hours ago, TRB said:

Still no Frontier yet at XNA  bit they are adding the likes of Asheville NC and even Lafayette LA to their DEN and MCO stations. Sure it's less than daily but still........

Not sure how their fares compare off the top of my head, but I'm sure Frontier would put Allegiant on the outs at XNA if fares were competitive and fly into MCO versus SFB, even at the same schedule as Allegiant.  A decent LAS schedule would make Frontier the last one standing of the two.  

All of that just IMHO.

Edited by jb1087

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On 7/11/2018 at 8:07 AM, TRB said:

Still no Frontier yet at XNA  bit they are adding the likes of Asheville NC and even Lafayette LA to their DEN and MCO stations. Sure it's less than daily but still........

LOL ... TRB, you seem to be enamored with Frontiers decisions!

Is there any incentive for Frontier to add XNA?  They most likely already pull a decent amount of discount type travelers out of this market by serving Tulsa International which is an easy 1.5hr drive from most of Northwest Arkansas.  IMO, whenever XNA lands a discount carrier, it could be a Jet Blue or Spirit or other discount carrier, an airline not serving this region of the country looking to compete.

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3 hours ago, OzarkSingleSpeed said:

LOL ... TRB, you seem to be enamored with Frontiers decisions!

Is there any incentive for Frontier to add XNA?  They most likely already pull a decent amount of discount type travelers out of this market by serving Tulsa International which is an easy 1.5hr drive from most of Northwest Arkansas.  IMO, whenever XNA lands a discount carrier, it could be a Jet Blue or Spirit or other discount carrier, an airline not serving this region of the country looking to compete.

I think it's telling that XNA can't get them to at least Den at 3x a week. Add Huntsville Alabama to the Frontier service list to DEN and MCO as well. While some of the connecting times aren't great, they are one up on Allegiant on that front.  XNA flyers should gladly replace Allegiant with Frontier on Orlando.

Let's take DEN, if we could get some cheap Frontier like direct service, folks could take advantage of those sub $400 R/Ts  Denver/London one can have at certain times of the year from there.

 

I know the TUL/SAN flight isn't going to go on long but there's no word on that flight to San Jose. See...that made better sense for XNA due to the Walmart IT connections.

 

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Sounds like the dedicated access road to XNA has been put on the fast track ... now that the first segment of the interchange of I-49 and the 412-Bypass is complete (is that called Hwy-612?) it sounds like a 4 mile road that stems from the new bypass is the tentative plan.

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Looks like we're getting XNA-BNA (Nashville for the non-AvGeeks :)) seasonally on Allegiant twice a week effective in early June.  Bit of a surprise to me but you never know with these ULCCs.

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AA is adding non-stop to Philly starting in September.

PHL-XNA:  3:50pm-5:55pm
XNA-PHL:  3:55pm-7:40pm

If those times are correct then it looks like the planes are flowing to/from other hubs.  Pricing looks to be off, as a round trip in coach is currently going for over $2100 for multiple dates that I checked in September and October.

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