Maine’s two major airports, in Portland and Bangor, are gearing up for the 2021 summer season with new routes being added by some of their carriers.
At the Portland International Jetport, American Airlines will expand its Saturday service to Miami starting on June 5, while Delta Air Lines will offer daily flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., starting on May 28, the Jetport said in two separate announcements.
American, which had originally intended to operate the Miami service just for the winter season, will now fly the route year-round. The airline is currently the largest carrier at the Jetport with nonstop service to seven destinations, while the new service will be Delta’s fifth nonstop destination from the Jetport.
Meanwhile at Bangor International Airport starting May 28, Allegiant Air will launch a new nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the low-cost carrier announced Tuesday. The service is one of 24 new nonstop routes aimed at meeting expected pent-up demand for travel.
The moves come amid continued turbulence for the global aviation industry due to the pandemic, with the International Air Travel Association estimating $118 billion in total losses in 2020 and a 66% slump in demand compared to 2019.
“We are once again pleased that our airline partners continue to put resources into our market,” said Paul Bradbury, the Jetport’s airport director, in Tuesday’s news release about American Airlines.
Separately, he told Mainebiz that passenger volumes were way down in 2020, “and well below anything I’ve experienced in over 28 years of work at the Jetport.”
Zach Sundquist, the Jetport’s assistant airport director, added in a news release, “We certainly recognize that continued improvement on the public health side of things is necessary to make this new service successful. We want to make sure that when you and your family are comfortable with flying again, we have the service that you’re looking for.”
Sun Country Airlines, a low-cost carrier based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, offers scheduled passenger service on more than 80 routes to more than 50 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, according to its website.
Jetport executives told Mainebiz that Sun Country Airlines launched twice weekly seasonal service to Minneapolis/St. Paul last summer and will restart that service on June 17.
They also noted that Sun Country Airlines tickets are already on sale for this summer, and that Delta will offer a complimentary service because it already has a hub in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
‘Good news to share’
In a news release posted on the Bangor International Airport website, director Tony Caruso said, “This has been a challenging year for aviation all around, and we’re very excited to have some good news to share.”
He added that Bangor International and Allegiant have had a great partnership since 2007, “and the beaches of Fort Lauderdale will give passengers another fantastic nonstop travel destination.”
— to www.mainebiz.biz