Avelo beefing up Orlando and some worrying Florida commercial aviation news

New Services

Avelo Airlines is starting three new routes from Orlando – Greenville/Spartanburg, a logical one, but then two incredible odd-balls. Brownsville, Texas which through the years has had virtually no commercial air service and then the relatively new, and previously un-served Mobile-Downtown Airport which is a white elephant of sorts. To this point Avelo has been smart in its additions, but these most recent ads seems a reach.

Breeze Airways is terminating nonstop service from West Palm Beach to both Columbus and Akron-Canton in May – the planes will be reassigned to increase frequencies in flights from Orlando and Vero Beach.

Azul Airlines is adding nonstops this summer between Belo Horizonte and both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

As discussed many times on this site, Norse Atlantic has added nonstops between London-Gatwick and both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando for the summer. The good news is that advance bookings have been strong and airline is adding additional frequencies per week to both cities.

Southwest is bumping Orlando-Syracuse to daily nonstops beginning in early November. Orlando-Tulsa nonstops return in October.

Frontier and Spirit will become the third and fourth airlines to suspend Phoenix-Fort Lauderdale, since 2020 when both drop nonstops later this year – the service has previously been dropped by American and JetBlue. Southwest will be only carrier left on this important transcontinental link for south Florida. Frontier will also suspend Fort Lauderdale-Las Vegas/Chicago(Midway) service, Miami-Boston/New York (LaGuardia) and Orlando-Rochester service.

In general we’re seeing less flights to southern Florida than during 2021, which is a reversal of trends nationally. An explanation can be found below.

Network Carriers and Poor RASM

We’re seeing very little in the way of new services that don’t touch hubs from the three remaining traditional network national carriers – American, Delta and United. Florida benefited from a plethora of new point-to-point services from these carriers in 2020 and 2021, but now it appears all three are cautious about new Florida flights. In fact in many cases, capacity to/from major hubs to Florida cities is stagnant on the network carriers. When you track RASM (Revenue per Available Seat Mile) Florida cities, particularly Tampa, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are doing particularly poorly over the last 18 months when compared to the rest of the nation. Two factors contribute to this – 1) the lack of premium business traffic headed to Florida, and 2) low-cost carriers dumping capacity into the state. Hurricane Ian didn’t help either as Fort Myers has struggled to maintain service since the fall. Florida also simply isn’t attracting the high-end premium domestic traffic, both from a business and a tourist standpoint to counter these headwinds. Only Orlando Int’l seems to be holding up well among major Florida airports.

One comment

  1. Jim Callahan · · Reply

    Brownsville, Texas is the nearest airport to Elon Musk’s SpaceX “Starbase”.


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