Air Routes Return As Vegas Rebounds

The news this week that Southwest Airlines is adding nonstop service to Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is part of a larger trend of increased demand for travel to Sin City.

"The trends are going in the right direction," said Kevin Bagger, director of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association. "So far, based on the data we've seen, demand in going in the right direction. We've also benefitted from some increases in air capacity that have addressed demand from feeder markets."

As carriers cut service in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, it left Las Vegas, one of the country's top leisure destinations, in a lurch. But new numbers show an uptick in air capacity due to increased demand for Las Vegas travel.

"When gas prices spiked in 2008, carriers throughout the country reduced their fleets," said Bagger. "Vegas was impacted, but we've gradually seen improvements since then. Average air capacity for 2011 has been up three percent."

This also means that airfare will likely decrease, a boon to travel agents looking to book Vegas getaways for less.

"This is good news for us to generate demand in feeder markets, now that there are seats available," said Bagger.


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