Miami International Airport adds seven airlines
Seven new airlines have been added to the 65 that carry passengers into and out of Miami International Airport. At the same time, seven of its existing large carriers have registered double-digit passenger gains in 2019 compared to last year.
Overall, the airport’s passenger traffic has risen slightly this fiscal year, according to eight-month figures supplied by Miami-Dade’s Aviation Department. With a total of about 30 million passengers between October 2018 and May 2019, passenger traffic rose 2.51% from the same period a year ago.
American Airlines remains by a vast margin the airport’s biggest carrier, serving 18,432,854 passengers the past eight months through May up 3.17% over the same period the previous year, October 2017 through May 2018. Handling almost 60% of Miami International’s passenger traffic, it and its subsidiary Envoy Air had a 66.7% share of the airport’s passenger market.
Delta and United remain among the biggest carriers but had slim to negative growth. United specifically carried 5.75% fewer passengers here between October 2018 and May 2019 than in the same period the prior year.
At the same time, seven large airlines registered double-digit passenger gains. All except Phoenix-based Swift Air offer exclusively international flights. Specifically, Avianca gained 64.27% in total traffic, Swift 38.14%, British Airways 33.21%, Turkish Airlines 15%, Virgin Atlantic Airways 14.46%, COPA Airlines 12.20% and Air Canada 12.61%. All seven carried around 2.5 million passengers combined over the past eight months.
The largest percentage passenger gainer, though, was Eurowings GmbH, Lufthansa’s Budget Service, with a 108.47% gain of 29,139 added passengers between October 2018 and May 2019, leading to a total of 56,003.
WOW Air had the second biggest increase in passenger growth by 69.46%, despite disconnecting its scheduled service to Iceland in July 2018. In 2019 the company went bankrupt and suspended all operation, but just before that came back to MIA with charter flights to Cuba last December.
Seven new companies were added to the airport’s traffic between late 2018 and 2019, but five ceased operations recently.
A new addition to MIA’s operators is GOL, a Brazilian airline that has served about 80,000 passengers since November 2018. Just before the end of the year two more airlines from Canada added Miami to their destinations list. Since December 2018, Flair Airlines has carried 8,622 passengers and Sunwing Airlines 52,692.
In 2019 passenger growth continued thanks to the launch of four new international routes: low-cost carrier Norwegian’s daily flights to London Gatwick Airport on April 1; Royal Air Maroc’s three weekly flights to Casablanca on April 3; LOT Polish Airlines’ four weekly flights to Warsaw on June 1; and Corsair’s four weekly flights to Paris Orly Airport on June 10.
Norwegian Air had carried 33,585 passengers so far and Royal Air Maroc 8,217.
The Casablanca route provides MIA’s first passenger flights to Africa since the year 2000 and Florida’s only nonstop service to the continent. The Warsaw route marks MIA’s first-ever service to Poland and the only nonstop route between Florida and Eastern Europe.
According to the most available Aviation Department data, the five new airlines here brought 183,116 passengers to Miami through May, 0.59% of the airport’s total passenger carry. These airlines connect Miami exclusively to international destinations and only Eastern Airlines offers both domestic and international flights.
However, TeMXtra Airways, a charter airline based in Coral Gables, ceased operations in August 2018, along with PAWA Dominicana, the international flag carrier of the Dominican Republic that stopped its MIA service in January 2018. Air Berlin stopped operating in Miami after it went bankrupt in 2017. The British charter airline Thomas Cook has not been flying to Miami since 2017, and Canadian First Air hasn’t been serving the airport since August 2018.
Overall, MIA passenger growth takes off to a strong start in 2019, according to the Aviation Department, with passenger traffic up more than half a million during first quarter.
“Passenger traffic at Miami International Airport through the first three months of 2019 grew by 583,073 over the same period last year, representing a 5% increase in the airport’s first quarter,” the department announced in April. “MIA’s growth included an additional 306,421 (5.5%) international passengers and 276,652 (4.6%) domestic passengers year over year.”
Second quarter growth was expected to continue as new airlines started operating in June. According to Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director and CEO Lester Sola, it is encouraging to see MIA begin 2019 with a strong start after a 1 million passenger growth in 2018.