Passenger traffic dips at Las Vegas airport

Glenn Pinkerton / Las Vegas News Bureau

In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, British Airwaysi first flight from Londonis Gatwick Airport pulls into the gate waving the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes out of the cockpit windows after a traditional water cannon salute at McCarran International Airport on October 29, 2012.

Passenger traffic got off to a slow start at McCarran International Airport in January as airport officials reported a 1.6 percent dip for the first month of 2013.

Clark County Aviation Department officials said that 3.12 million passengers used McCarran, with most of the drop-off in domestic traffic.

Domestic charters and commuter traffic showed double-digit percentage declines, and domestic mainline service was off 1.5 percent. The biggest decreases came from Virgin America, Frontier and Hawaiian airlines, which all reduced their Las Vegas schedules in January.

United Airlines, the No. 3 carrier at McCarran, had a slight decline in capacity, and passenger counts fell 5.8 percent to 285,624.

The No. 1 domestic air carrier, Southwest Airlines, was off 0.3 percent to 1.21 million passengers.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, McCarran's No. 5 operator, was up 0.2 percent to 165,855 passengers.

International traffic continued to increase, but not enough to offset the domestic declines.

British Airways, which added flights to and from London’s Gatwick International Airport, had a 16.9 percent increase in traffic to 21,281 passengers. The rest of the growth came primarily from new carriers Copa, Interjet and Grupo Aereo Monterrey Magnicharters, which offset declines for Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico, Vivaaerobus, Volaris and Westjet.

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