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3 Floridian Airports Flourish With Huge Growth From 2019

Three Florida airports have grown spectacularly this summer. The Panhandle airports of Panama City, Destin Fort Walton Beach, and Pensacola have collectively added 2.1 million seats versus summer 2019 (S19) – an increase of 52%. With growth between 39% and 70%, they’re among the state’s best-performing airports by this simple measure.

Although Delta has only grown moderately at Panama City this summer compared with other airlines, it uses the B737-800, B717, A319, A321, A320, and CRJ-900 on its sole route from Atlanta. In S19, only the MD-88, MD-90, and B717 were used. Photo: Getty Images.

Not all Florida airports have grown, though

In contrast to these Panhandle airports, Florida as a whole has risen by ‘just’ 4%, analyzing schedules supplied by carriers to data experts OAG reveals. Of course, in a pandemic that is exceptional, and most places worldwide would very much like to have it.

Florida has been pulled down by reductions at Ft Lauderdale (-4.0%), Jacksonville (-22.0%), Orlando International (-3.0%), Orlando Sanford (-8.0%), Tampa (-2.5%), and various smaller airports. Breeze’s Tampa entry may help marginally, while Ft Lauderdale has lost Frontier and Emirates to Miami.

Panhandle airport growth
Pensacola remains the largest airport serving the Panhandle, although the gap with Destin has narrowed. Pensacola has grown by 38% (+654,000 seats added) from two additional airlines (Spirit and Boutique Air) and expansion by others (notably Southwest, American, and United). The airport’s route network has expanded from 20 to 29. Image: Simple Flying using data from OAG.

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What Florida airports have seen increases?

Miami has grown strongly this summer (+5.0%), up by 696,000 seats, because of the above but more importantly from the entry of Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, and more.

The South Florida airport joins others across the state in reporting good growth, notably Sarasota (+120%), Key West (+109%),…

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