A few interesting points - almost 8% passenger growth with only .5% growth in flights for the year (and most of that coming from cargo). Shows how much up-gauging has happened.
DL was basically flat for the year, American has had strong growth, and UA was slightly up, with a big increase in December of about 17%. With UA forecasting more domestic growth, I wonder how that might play out at MSY. A lot of it is from shifting from regionals to mainline, but I think LAX would help attract loyal fliers. One thing they now lack with the reduction of IAH banks, is a late evening MSY-IAH (the last departure is at 6:47PM) and an early IAH-MSY (the earliest arrival is 8:47). Seems like there would be at least a regional jet's worth of business pax who could fill that even without connections.
And regarding connections it is interesting to note that most of our peer airports have some sort of focus city status, either DL (RDU), or unofficially with WN (AUS, OAK, BNA, HOU, STL, DAL). It stands to reason that we are nearing the critical mass to make some marginal routes possible with connecting opportunities, such as daily WN flights to RDU, IND, PIT, SJC, SMF, and CUN. I think the same thing applies to NK, although the options are more limited. This is one reason that I hope the airport is heavily courting Silver. With their UA and B6 codeshares, a few flights from JAX and TLH (not served by UA or B6) could help boost those carriers who have seen a lot of ULCC competition on their routes recently.