US low-fare carrier Frontier Airlines is to introduce a new link between Orlando and Detroit in the final quarter of this year, its fourth route to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport adding to its existing links from Denver, Trenton and Washington. The daily flight to Orlando International Airport will commence from November 18, 2015 and will be operated using an Airbus A320.
Frontier Airlines has served Detroit from its main Denver International Airport for over ten years, but has recently started to increase its presence in the city with new routes from Trenton, New Jersey commencing in April 2013 and Washington Dulles last year.
“We are excited to offer even more low fare service for Detroit with this new flight,” said Daniel Shurz, chief commercial officer, Frontier Airlines. “Metro Detroit has responded positively to our ‘Low Fares Done Right’ philosophy allowing us to add our first non-stop to the Sunshine State from Detroit.”
This new flight for the winter 2015/2016 schedule will place it in competition with the multiple daily flights of network carrier Delta Air Lines (inherited from the Northwest Airlines network following their merger) and the twice daily services of fellow low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines. AirTran Airways also served this market up until last year and Southwest Airlines plans to return with a weekly link from January to March 2016.
“Orlando is currently our customers’ second-most preferred destination from Detroit and for that reason, was one of our top priorities for new air service,” said Thomas Naughton, chief executive officer, Detroit Metropolitan Airport Authority. “Our customers love to have choices when scheduling their travel plans so this is good news all around.”
Our analysis of Sabre Airport Data Intelligence demand data shows that over 370,000 point-to-point passengers a year are flying between Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Orlando International Airport. After peaking at over 500,000 annual passengers in 2008, totals have fluctuated in subsequent years with the 2014 total of 370,983 passengers being the lowest annual total since 2005. The multiple frequencies on the route from Delta Air Lines means it dominates the market with a 66.0 per cent demand share in 2014, ahead of Spirit Airlines (23.2 per cent share of traffic).
The new domestic route will further the growth in traffic at Orlando International Airport with latest data for July showing domestic passenger traffic increased 6.5 per cent versus the same month last year with 2,981,559 total passengers flying internally at Florida’s second largest gateway. This strong performance is being notably outweighed by international growth with traffic up 19.5 per cent in July 2015 versus July 2014. This together means overall traffic increased 8.2 percent in the month compared to July last year.
“We are averaging over 112,000 passengers every day. These are numbers typically associated with peak holiday traffic, however we are seeing this level of activity year-round,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We can anticipate this robust growth continuing with new service launches by Emirates Airline to Dubai and Icelandair to Keflavik in September.