ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — So far this year, at least three airlines have announced new nonstop routes to Orlando International Airport, connecting Central Florida to new domestic and international destinations.
What You Need To Know
- Three airlines have announced new nonstop routes to Orlando International Airport so far this year
- Aer Lingus, Frontier and Hawaiian Airlines have all opened new routes to Central Florida
- Officials with Frontier Airlines say that Orlando is a top market, even during the COVID-19 pandemic
Spectrum News 13 was there earlier this month as Hawaiian Airlines' first nonstop flight from Honolulu landed in Orlando.
Just last week, Irish Airline Aer Lingus announced new nonstop service between Manchester, U.K and Orlando.
Frontier Airlines now has five new nonstop routes from Orlando.
Frontier Airlines leadership said Orlando is a top market even during the pandemic.
"It's cold, people have been stuck indoors. But, you've got the opportunity even if they're still worried about the coronavirus, they can be in a lot of outdoor activities here," Frontier Airlines President/CEO Barry Biffle said.
At a time where leisure travel is bouncing back faster than business, Hawaiian Airlines said it's time to connect two top leisure destinations.
"We've been looking at Orlando for a long time. There's a lot of pent up travel demand for people to go to different places. I think people also value nonstop service," Hawaiian Airlines VP of Airport Operations Jeff Helfrick said.
Hawaiian Airlines is increasing service to three times a week over the summer because of the already high demand.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said with these new routes, our tourism industry should recover faster than originally thought.
"Working with our hospitality and hotel industry to ensure that they are ready, that they have all of the sanitary protocols in place to keep people safe," Mayor Demings said on the continuing effort.
After a rock bottom April 2020 collection of $765,000, the largest drop in county history, new routes will also continue to increase the county's Tourist Development Tax.
"To support our various venues, but also to make an investment in our cultural arts, even our sports-incentive programs, they all benefit," Mayor Demings said.
The latest data from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority shows a 762% increase in passenger departures from March 26,2020 versus last week on March 25, 2021.
These numbers are ahead of initial spring break projections.
We asked Aer Lingus last week for more details on the new route. An airline spokesperson said:
"Aer Lingus launched flights for sale from Manchester to the United States and Barbados from Manchester Airport today. The flights are operated by its UK subsidiary Aer Lingus (U.K.) Limited. Sales are currently only available for UK originating flights and are not currently available to persons in the United States, due to the ongoing regulatory process."