Airlines Add New Routes to Florida Keys
Business travel is expected to take a long time to rebound to pre-pandemic levels. But airlines are hoping that leisure travel could see a spike in 2021, thanks to lower infection rates in recent weeks and the roll out of Covid-19 vaccines.
To adjust for that new reality, airlines have been focusing more on leisure routes that take passengers to warm weather destinations. The Florida Keys have been a hot location as international travel still has its uncertainties and additional requirements in many cases.
American Airlines announced in November new flights to Key West from Orlando, Tampa and Philadelphia. Then, as part of a new codeshare alliance with American, JetBlue announced that it will extend its recently launched nonstop service from New York City and Boston to Key West, from seasonal to year-round. The New York based airline already has a robust route schedule that includes multiple Florida cities.
United also extended service to Key West. Allegiant Air will start service to the southernmost point in the U.S. in June from Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
“Our strong demand as a year-round subtropical island destination is a response to our scenic wide-open spaces, casual island atmosphere and an abundance of water activities,” said Stacey Mitchell, director of the Florida Keys tourism council, in the press release.
“Visitors from the Northeast, which remains a top visitor market for all of the Keys, are seeking warm breezes, abundant sunshine and organically socially distant experiences such as backcountry excursions, deep-sea fishing charters, legendary sunset celebrations and quality time outdoors with family and friends.”
“Florida has always played a key role in JetBlue’s success story and that continues today as we expand our seasonal Key West flying to year-round service,” said Andrea Lusso, JetBlue’s vice president of network planning.