Las Vegas airport sees most passengers since 2008

David Becker / AP

In this Thursday, May 9, 2013, photo, a Southwest airliner comes in for a landing as a row of Allegiant Air jets are parked at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

A total of 3.3 million passengers moved through McCarran International Airport in December, up 4.1 percent from December 2012 and closing the books on a year that saw 41.9 million passengers.

That is up 0.5 percent from 2012.

While domestic traffic was strong in December, it was increases in international and air tour flights that pushed passenger traffic to its highest since 2008, when McCarran had 44 million passengers, according to the Clark County Aviation Department.

The record year was 2007, when 47.7 million people used the airport.

For 2013, the number of domestic passengers was up 0.1 percent to 38 million, international traffic climbed 3.4 percent to 3 million and air tour traffic was up 6.5 percent to 924,022.

Among domestic carriers, there were eight airlines that carried more than 1 million passengers to and from Las Vegas, led by Dallas-based Southwest at 16.3 million, 1.9 percent more than in 2012.

The next seven were Delta, United, American, Allegiant, US Airways, Spirit and JetBlue. American and US Airways completed a merger in late 2013 and their combined total of passengers would have made the new American the No. 2 operator at McCarran.

Only one international carrier hit the 1 million plateau, Canada-based WestJet with just more than 1 million. The rest of the top five: Air Canada, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Volaris.

The top five growth airlines by percentage for 2013 were Interjet, Copa Airlines, Magnicharters — all Latin American carriers — British Airways and Arkefly.

The biggest domestic growth in Las Vegas came from Sun Country, Spirit and Virgin America.