Airlines Adding Back Service at Hopkins

Airlines  have begun to slowly revive service to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport with several carriers adding back destinations dropped two to three months ago during the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic recession.

Most of the flights that have been reinstated thus far at Hopkins are to leisure destinations.

Four carriers, Allegiant Air, United Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines, have resumed or plan to resume service to Orlando.

Frontier plans to resume flying to Las Vegas on June 18 and to Phoenix on June 23.

Spirit has reinstated flights to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and plans to resume flying to Dallas-Fort Worth on June 26, to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Tampa on July 1, and to New Orleans on July 2.

Southwest Airlines has resumed service to St. Louis, United has resumed flying to Newark, and American Airlines plans to resume its American Eagle brand flights to New York LaGuardia on July 7.

For several weeks there has been no direct air service between Cleveland and the New York City region.

United also will resume flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco on July 5 and to Denver, Houston and Orlando on July 6.

Spirit is planning new service on July 1 between Cleveland and Newark, the first new airline route to Northeast Ohio since the pandemic began in March and air travel began nose diving.

Although passenger traffic at Hopkins has been rising there are still far fewer flights and travelers than there typically would be in June.

Many destinations continue to see service just once or twice a day whereas the norm before the pandemic was flights throughout the day to many destinations.

Whereas Hopkins averaged 159 flight per day in June 2019, this month is likely to see an average of 40 flights per day. That is still greater than the 27 flights per day that Hopkins averaged in May.

Air travel nationwide continues to lag. On May 31, the Transportation Security Administration screened 353,000 travelers at U.S. airports. On the same date last year it was 2.56 million.

In 2019, Hopkins handled more than 10 million travelers but travel in the year to date is down 38 percent, a figure that officials expect to continue to decline even as traffic picks up.

In April air travel at Hopkins was down 97 percent from April 2019.

Destinations that continue to lack air service from Cleveland that existed before the pandemic include New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Toronto, and Milwaukee.

Officials at Hopkins told Cleveland.com that although they are optimistic that these routes will resume, it may be several months before that occurs.

A survey of air service from Hopkins by Cleveland.com found the following airlines routes are now operating or will be soon.

Allegiant: Myrtle Beach and Charleston, South Carolina; Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville, Punta Gorda, Sarasota and St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Nashville; and Norfolk, Virginia.

American: Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington Reagan National.

Delta: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis.

Frontier: Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, Raleigh/Durham, Sarasota, Tampa.

JetBlue: Boston.

Southwest: Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Denver, Nashville, St. Louis

Spirit: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa.

United: Chicago, Newark, Washington Dulles

The new Spirit route between Cleveland and Newark will be the only new route that that carrier plans to launch in July.

Spirit spokesman Field Sutton said the carrier expects to be back to nearly its pre-pandemic level of service from Cleveland by July 1.

“Our network planning team sees an opportunity in CLE to go beyond the service we offered prior to the pandemic,” he said.

In the meantime, Hopkins has resumed charging for parking at the airport.

Parking charges had been suspended in late March in order to protect employees and due to a sharp drop in air travel.

The pre-pandemic rates are being charged. The remote Brown lot remains closed.

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