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The fascinating expansion of Florida Airlines



Airlines have significantly reduced capacity in recent months due to the pandemic. It is astonishing to see the ways in which airlines have begun to increase return capacity. One might assume that airlines would start adding back routes that were previously suspended, but that is not what is happening – rather airlines are mostly adding point-to-point routes that they have never operated before.

United is the last airline to add all the new routes, so let’s look at them.

United Airlines Expansion in Florida

United Airlines has announced plans to add up to 28 non-stop daily flights this winter to four popular destinations in Florida. As described, these new non-stop flights reflect United̵

7;s strategy to aggressively and opportunistically manage the impact of the coronavirus by increasing service to destinations where customers want to fly more.

These routes will operate between November 6, 2020 and January 10, 2021, with service frequencies increasing the most during the holidays. These new flights are already bookable online.

While Ankit Gupta, United VP of Local Network Planning, describes these additions:

“The addition of these new flights represents the United States’ largest point-to-point, non-hub flight expansion and reflects our data-driven approach to adding capacity where customers are telling us they want to go. “We look forward to offering customers in the Midwest and Northeast more opportunities to fly nonstop to Florida this winter.”

Let’s take a look at the details of the new roads:

New Roads to Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

United Airlines will operate until:

  • 2x daily flights between Boston and Fort Lauderdale with 737-800s
  • 2x daily flights between Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale with 737-800s
  • 2x daily flights between New York LaGuardia and Fort Lauderdale by A320

New Roads to Fort Myers (RSW)

United Airlines will operate until:

  • 2x daily flights between Boston and Fort Myers by A320
  • 2x daily flights between Cleveland and Fort Myers with 737-800s
  • 1x daily flights between Columbus and Fort Myers with Embraer 175s
  • 1x daily flights between Indianapolis and Fort Myers by A320
  • 1x daily flights between Milwaukee and Fort Myers with A319s
  • 2x daily flights between New York LaGuardia and Fort Myers with 737-800s
  • 1x daily flights between Pittsburgh and Fort Myers with Embraer 175s

United Airlines is adding seven new routes to Fort Myers

New Roads to Orlando (MCO)

United Airlines will operate until:

  • 2x daily flights between Boston and Orlando with 737-800s and A320s
  • 2x daily flights between Cleveland and Orlando with 737-800s
  • 2x daily flights between New York LaGuardia and Orlando with the A320

New Roads to Tampa (TPA)

United Airlines will operate until:

  • 2x daily flights between Boston and Tampa with 737-800s
  • 1x daily flights between Cleveland and Tampa with 737-800s
  • 1x daily flights between Milwaukee and Tampa with 737-800s
  • 2x daily flights between New York LaGuardia and Tampa with A319s


United Airlines is adding four new routes to Tampa

We are talking about a new era of road planning…

Recent months have really transformed the airline industry in many ways. Airlines have turned their approach to downhill route planning, and it is interesting to see.

This certainly seems like the right approach for airlines to take, as they increasingly focus on point-to-point routes, rather than building hubs when there is limited demand.

If you had told me last year that United would fly an Indianapolis flight to Fort Myers with a mainline plane, I would not believe you.

I’m not sure which part of this extension is most interesting:

Bottom line

The old airline scheduling game book is out the window, as airlines now seem to be adding service to any and all markets where they see demand return, regardless of how it fits into the overall network.

We will have to see how the evolution of the coronavirus on a state-by-state basis, but with international travel restrictions, is logical that more and more Americans are looking to visit Florida this winter.

However, seeing United add service outside Boston to Florida, as well as adding seven non-central flights to Fort Myers is something I never thought I would see.

But 2020 is full of surprises, so…

What do you do about United Airlines expansion in Florida?




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