LAS VEGAS – McCarran International Airport welcomed 48.5 million arriving and departing passengers last year, making 2017 the busiest year in the airport's nearly 70-year history. For a seventh consecutive year the commercial airport serving Southern Nevada posted a year-over-year increase with the 2017 total marking a 2.2 percent upturn from the year prior. The previous passenger record was set in 2007 at 47.7 million passengers.
Over the course of the year McCarran posted multiple all-time-high months, including the best December ever for a total of nine record-setting months in the calendar year. Additionally, October 2017 had the highest single-month passenger volume in airport history. Along with airline passenger traffic, ground transportation set a new milestone of 5.4 million airport pick-ups by taxis and app-based ground transportation providers, an increase of 11.7 percent from the year prior.
"McCarran is a nearly $30 billion economic engine and our passenger numbers serve as an indicator of the economic health and well-being of Southern Nevada," said Rosemary A. Vassiliadis, director of the Clark County Department of Aviation. "It's always exciting to see record numbers, but I feel this one is rather special for our entire community. We have been cautiously optimistic for many years as our local and national economies have rebounded, and we have worked closely with our federal partners to seamlessly accommodate that growth. This new record is a clear sign of recovery, and it shows that the appeal of Las Vegas remains strong."
Domestic passenger volume grew by 2.4 percent, accounting for 1 million additional Las Vegas passengers for the year. Low-cost carriers Frontier, Sun Country and Spirit Airlines posted substantial growth percentages, as did JetBlue Airways. Perennial market-leader Southwest Airlines ended the year with more than 18 million passengers transported.
International passenger volume was flat at just 0.4 percent growth. Canadian carriers Westjet Airlines and Air Canada served the bulk of international traffic with a combined total of nearly 1.8 million, followed by U.K. carriers British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways, which both served fewer passengers than the year prior. Mexico was the third-largest source of international passengers in 2017, and in its first full-year of operations, Hainan Airlines carried nearly 47,000 passengers between Beijing and Las Vegas. Continuing the trend seen in recent years of new service coming from markets outside of the United States, McCarran added direct flights from Munich by new carrier Eurowings; nonstop from Mexico City by Viva Aerobus in 2017; and announced new seasonal service by LATAM Airlines starting in June 2018. The Sao Paulo route will be the first scheduled nonstop flight to Las Vegas from Brazil.
Numbers listed herein are certified accurate at the time of this release but are subject to subsequent audit by the airport or by individual airlines and may be adjusted. See www.mccarran.com statistics for current data.