Volume Rebound Seen at Vegas Airport
CA - /Reuters/ - Air traffic to Las Vegas, where nearly half of
all visitors arrive by plane, has bounced back steadily since a
post-Sept. 11 plunge, with a number of airlines even adding new
routes to the city in recent weeks, an airport spokeswoman said
on February 22.
out this week are expected to show that passenger volume through
Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport was down about 10 percent
in January compared with a year earlier, said airport spokeswoman
would be a strong improvement over December, when the total volume
of arriving and departing passengers was down 14.3 percent on year
to 2.54 million passengers.
was down 17.9 percent in November, 16.3 percent in October and a
hefty 28.3 percent in September, which included several days when
McCarran and all U.S. airports were closed following the Sept. 11
are seeing the climb back to normal,'' Grey said. "Barring
any unforeseen changes, hopefully by summer we'll be very close
to where we were last year.''
The steady rebound
in passenger volume has been reflected in the major casinos of this
tourist-dependent city, with hotel occupancy approaching year-ago
levels while room rates are still down compared with last year.
In a sign that
airlines are upbeat about the city's recovery, the number of scheduled
flights is back to 90 percent to 95 percent of year-ago levels as
carriers have gradually resumed many flights canceled after Sept.
11, Grey said.
One of those
was Japan Airlines Co. Ltd. , which canceled all five of its weekly
non-stop flights between Tokyo and Las Vegas, but plans to phase
the flights back in starting next week.
will run its first resumed flight to the city next Friday, and plans
to gradually return to five flights per week by June, Grey said.S
In another sign
of confidence from Asian carriers, Singapore Airlines Ltd. next
month will announce two new round-trip flights weekly between Las
Vegas and Hong Kong with connecting service to Singapore, Grey said.
Virgin Atlantic Airways, a unit of Virgin Group , plans to add a
third non-stop flight between London and Las Vegas this summer.
The airline has continued to operate its two existing flights on
the route throughout the months after Sept. 11, Grey said.
America West Airlines announced an important resumption earlier
this week when it said it would begin service between Las Vegas
and Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport again on Feb. 27.
also announced the resumption of additional flights between Las
Vegas and Boston, Denver, Dallas and New York starting this month.
It said it plans to start new service as well between Las Vegas
and Colorado Springs, Colorado and Salt Lake City in the weeks ahead.