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You Ask, We Investigate: New Airlines Could Come to XNA

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA) - In this week's 'You Ask, We Investigate' report, KNWA's Katelynn Zoellner finds out if any new airlines could be coming to Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. You wanted to know if carriers that offer cheaper fares like Southwest could make their way to our area.

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport has not added an airline in nearly a decade. Right now, Allegiant, United, American and Delta offer flights in and out of the airport.

"We would love to have more airlines using this facility," said Kelly Johnson, airport director at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. "Part of the problem is consolidation in the industry. At one point we had seven airlines. We are down to four."

Johnson said they've been talking with Southwest for about three years now. It's not just Southwest they're talking to. They've had discussions with eight other carriers over the last month that are currently not in this market, like Alaska and Spirit.

"We meet with our existing carriers, but we also meet with any carrier that will meet with us that is currently not in this market," she said. "They know about us. They know we're here. It's very enlightening and very encouraging when you sit down at an airline meeting and they know your market and know that the community is one of the most rapidly growing in the United States."

Johnson said they're aware that people travel to other airports to find carriers that are not offered at the airport. She said they are making every effort to bring in new airlines.

"It's not for lack of effort," she said. "We are painfully aware of the fact that  we haven't had any new entrants since nine years ago. We are working really hard to get anybody and everybody to take a good look at Northwest Arkansas and what our community has to offer. We don't want that. I'm sure our customer's don't want to go to some other airport."

If there's something in your community that you want to know more about, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@KNWA.com.


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