Passenger count at Las Vegas airport down 3 percent for September

An Allegiant Airlines jet takes off from McCarran International Airport on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011.

McCarran International Airport experienced its steepest month-over-month decline in passenger counts for the year in September, but it is still on track to serve more than 40 million passengers this year.

The airport on Monday reported 3.4 million passengers used the Las Vegas airport in September, down 3 percent from the same month a year ago.

A decline in domestic capacity is responsible for the decrease. Flight cuts by US Airways, Delta, Allegiant Air and Southwest resulted in fewer passengers on those airlines.

International traffic continued to be strong, with traffic on foreign carriers up 9.7 percent over September 2011. For the first three quarters of 2012, passenger counts are up 0.9 percent to 31.5 million.

Double-digit percentage declines in passengers were reported by US Airways, which was off 20 percent, United, off 14.3 percent, and Delta, down 10.8 percent.

A 49.9 percent increase in traffic for Spirit Airlines offset some of the losses. Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit has been the fastest growing domestic air carrier at McCarran in the last year.

The biggest international gainers were Mexican discounters Volaris and Vivaaerobus, Canadian discount carrier Sunwing and Korean Airlines.

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