United adds summer panhandle-Denver service and this week’s other Florida airline news

United Airlines will fly nonstop from Denver to Pensacola and Destin/Fort Walton beach this summer. The route were previously only flown around Spring Break. I am also told Panama City might get similar summer treatment from Denver, but that was not announced. Demand for beach destinations in Florida are rising as pent-up demand drives a lot of these decisions as is United’s willingness to experiment with leisure routes while business travel remains well below pre-Covid levels. Sarasota will also get a new summer nonstop to Denver.

American Airlines is adding Saturday-only summer nonstops from Miami to Albany, NY, Burlington, Madison, Syracuse and Tulsa.

I had missed this a while back but Virgin Atlantic will shift Orlando-Scotland nonstops in summer 2022 from Glasgow to Edinburgh. That’s a pretty significant shift if you follow aviation in the United Kingdom where recently, Edinburgh has picked up additional international service at Glasgow’s expense. This move furthers that trend.

Frontier returns to Fort Lauderdale yet again, but this time with more nonstopdestinations

Ultra-low cost carrier Frontier Airlines has earned the reputation of using a “dartboard” to determine new flights, frequently starting and stopping flights rather quickly and flying some odd city pairs. After having previously dropped Fort Lauderdale twice (for about a decade Frontier only flew to FLL among South Florida airports generally just from Denver, but by 2017 had shifted to Miami and West Palm Beach shuttering Fort Lauderdale completely. They returned in 2019, but again shut it down in 2020 to focus on building a massive focus city in Miami.) they’ve returned in a big way with 10 new destinations and 2 resumptions for a total of 12 cities.

We’ll get more into this on Sunday or Monday – a high stakes battle is going on in South Florida as airlines that are strong in Fort Lauderdale ramp up Miami service and vise versa. Prior to Covid, it was assumed Miami and Fort Lauderdale represented a single-market with two major airports, meaning you focus on one or the other, but airlines are increasingly seeing them as complimentary airports, still within a single-market. Something similar is happening with New York and Newark as well. In all this unfortunately, we’re seeing very little emphasis on new flights to West Palm Beach, an airport that continues to be under-served.

UPDATE: I am told Elite Airways will shift its nonstop service to Newark from Melbourne back to Vero Beach where it previously operated from, this spring. Should have more on this next week.

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