Posts Tagged ‘airline service changes’

Allegiant to Add 2 Florida Routes from CAK

May 9, 2022

Allegiant Air will add two Florida destinations from the Akron-Canton Airport this fall.

Starting Oct. 6, Allegiant will fly twice a week between CAK and Orlando Sanford Airport, located 20 miles northeast of Orlando.

Those flights could pick up some of the slack being left by Spirit Airlines’ plans to suspend service between Akron-Canton and Orlando International Airport in June.

Akron-Canton officials have said Orlando is the top destination of passengers from CAK.

Allegiant also plans to launch twice-a-week service between Akron-Canton and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport on Nov. 19.

The new routes will give Allegiant six destinations from Akron-Canton. Others include the Florida cities of Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Punta Gorda. Allegiant also flies from Akron-Canton to Savannah-Hilton Head, Georgia.

Spirit has said it plans to resume serving Akron-Canton in November.

Spirit to Suspend Flights at Akron-Canton Airport

April 28, 2022

Spirit Airlines will cease serving Akron-Canton Airport on June 5, but the discount fare carrier insists the move is temporary.

In announcing the service suspension, an airline spokesman said the move is in response to a pilot shortage and other operation issues that are prompting it to reduce service across its system.

Also affected will be Cleveland Hopkins Airport, which will see some new Spirit flights even as flights on other routes are suspended.

Spirit, which has served Akron-Canton since 2016, flies year around from CAK to Orlando, Florida, and offers seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

In Cleveland, Spirit plans on June 5 to resume serving Dallas-Fort Worth with daily service while adding a second daily flight to Myrtle Beach.

Spirit will suspend its Cleveland flights to Cancun and New Orleans.

The airline spokesman told The Plain Dealer that the airline wants to avoid a situation such as happened earlier this month when it had to cancel hundreds of flights due to staffing, weather and operational issues.

That left thousands of travelers stranded during a busy spring break travel period.

Other carrier are facing the same issues and have announced flight cuts to avoid having to cancel large numbers of flights due to operating issues.

The Plain Dealer report noted that airlines have been surprised at how quickly air travel has bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic doldrums.

Lisa Dalpiaz, vice president of marketing and air service development at Akron-Canton, told The Plain Dealer she is cautiously optimistic Spirit will return in November as it said it would.

“The Akron-Canton market has performed well in the past,” she said. “We’ve been told that these routes have worked.”

Spirit is the only airline flying from CAK to Orlando, which Dalpiaz said is the top destination for travelers from the airport.

Hopkins Gaining Some New Summer Service

March 29, 2022

Airlines are revealing their summer expansion plans and the news for Cleveland Hopkins Airport is mixed.

Frontier Airlines will add new non-stop service starting in June from Cleveland to Philadelphia and Dallas-Fort Worth.

But United Airlines doesn’t plan to resume seasonal routes from Cleveland to Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Pensacola, Florida; and Portland, Maine, that operated last summer.

An airline spokesman said a shortage of pilots is preventing the flights from resuming.

Last year those routes operated three times a week and were flown by contract airline partners flying regional jet planes under the United Express brand.

The Plain Dealer reported that in June 2022 United is expected to offer 221,378 seats to and from Cleveland Hopkins or about 84 percent of what it had in 2019 and more than the 148,497 seats it had available in June 2021 and 26,406 seats in June 2020.

United is Hopkins’ largest carrier with 23 percent of its commercial passenger business.

The United spokeswoman said the carrier will continue flying from Cleveland to such leisure destinations as Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in Florida; Cancun, Mexico; and Nassau in the Bahamas, during the summer.

Frontier is the fourth largest carrier at Hopkins and flies non-stop to 14 destinations. None of its new summer flights will operate daily.

It will be the second time Frontier has linked Cleveland with Philadelphia and Dallas.

Breeze Expanding Akron-Canton Service

March 9, 2022

Akron-Canton Airport will be gaining more new service this summer when Breeze Airways launches flights to Nashville and Hartford, Connecticut.

The Nashville flights will begin May 26 and operate on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays all year.

The Hartford flights will start June 3 providing summer service on Fridays and Mondays.

Breeze, which began flying to Akron-Canton in June 2021, currently flies from there to Tampa and West Palm Beach in Florida, and to New Orleans, and Charleston, South Carolina.

None of those flights operate daily. Breeze plans to use 126-seat Airbus 220 aircraft on the Hartford route and Embraer 190 or 195 jets on the Nashville flights that seat 108 or 118 seats.

The Hartford service will be the first from Northeast Ohio to Hartford since early 2020.

Delta Airlines through a Delta Connection branded contract airline flew to Hartford from Cleveland Hopkins Airport until the onset of the COVID-19 devastated air travel.

Most travelers who fly on Breeze are leisure travelers although the Hartford route may see some business travel to New England destinations.

The announcement that Breeze is expanding its Akron-Canton service came a week after Allegiant Air resumed flying to the airport located in Green between its namesake cities.

Akron-Canton officials are hoping it is a sign that the falling airline traffic trend at the airport is being reversed.

Allegiant began serving Akron-Canton in May 2015 but left there in February 2017 in favor of expanding operations at Hopkins.

The departure of Allegiant coincided with the launch of service at Akron-Canton by Spirit Airlines to Florida and South Carolina points.

In September 2021, Allegiant said it would withdraw from Hopkins in January, citing high fees. Shortly after than announcement Allegiant said it would return to Akron-Canton in March 2022.

Currently, Allegiant flies from Akron-Canton to the Florida cities of Punta Gorda, Sarasota and St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and to Savannah, Georgia.

Service to all four is twice a week, but will increase in May to four times a week to Savannah and three times a week to Sarasota and Punta Gorda.

The presence of three low-fare carriers at Akron-Canton harkens back to the days when AirTran had flights from CAK to numerous destinations, including New York, Boston, Washington, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Orlando.

AirTran’s low fares drew travelers from all over Northeast Ohio during a time when the former Continental Airlines had a hub operation at Hopkins. That gave travelers dozens of non-stop flights to points throughout North America and even to Europe, but also meant Hopkins had some of the highest air fares in the country.

Continental eventually merged with United Airlines, which subsequently closed the Cleveland hub although United continues to have a major presence there.

Southwest Airlines eventually acquired AirTran and continued most of its flights, but gradually reduced destinations until leaving Akron-Canton altogether.

In a ceremony to welcome Allegiant back to Akron-Canton, the airport’s CEO, Ren Camacho, said it could be a turning point for passenger growth.

Aside from drawing travelers from throughout Northeast Ohio, Akron-Canton has also seen some passengers drive in from Pennsylvania to board flights there, attracted by lower fares.

Most of the direct destinations served from Akron-Canton are leisure travel locations.

Spirit offers seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers in Florida, seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and year-around service to Orlando.

American Airlines through its American Eagle brand offers flights to Charlotte, North Carolina; Washington (Reagan National); and Philadelphia.

United Airlines through its United Express brand flies to Chicago (O’Hare). It dropped its daily flight to Washington (Dulles) on March 3.

Breeze Begins Palm Beach Flights at CAK, Allegiant to Return Next Week to 4 Destinations

February 19, 2022

Breeze Airways will begin service today from the Akron-Canton Airport to Palm Beach, Florida.

Airport officials said in a news release that Palm Beach is the top unserved market from Akron-Canton and among the top 10 connecting destinations from the airport.

Flights will operate on Saturdays and may increase in frequency depending on demand.

The flight will depart CAK 5:55 p.m. for a 8:25 p.m. arrival in Palm Beach. Returning flights depart Palm Beach at 10:05 a.m. and arrive at Akron-Canton at 12:40 p.m. Flights will use with 108-seat Embraer 190 regional jets.

Breeze began serving Akron-Canton in June 2021 and flies to Tampa; New Orleans; and Charleston, South Carolina. None of those flights operate daily.

Akron-Canton will be gaining a new, but familiar airline, next week when Allegiant Air resumes service.

Allegiant flew to Akron-Canton between May 2015 and February 2017 when it pulled out in favor of focusing its service at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

But Allegiant cited high fees at Hopkins when it flew its last flight from there on Jan. 3. A month later it announced it would return to Akron-Canton.

Starting March 2, Allegiant will fly from CAK to Punta Gorda, Florida, one of four destinations that Allegiant plans to serve from Akron-Canton.

The discount fare carrier also plans flight from CAK to Sarasota, Florida, starting March 3; St. Petersburg, Florida, starting March 4; and Savannah, Georgia, starting March 3.

Allegiant will fly Airbus equipment on all four routes, none of which will operate daily.

Akron-Canton also has service to Florida provided by Spirit Airlines to Orlando, Tampa and Fort Myers. Other carriers at the airport located between its namesake cities include American Eagle, flying to Philadelphia, Washington (Reagan National) and Charlotte; and United Express, flying to Chicago (O’Hare) and Washington (Dulles).

Breeze to Use Larger Jet on CAK-Tampa Route

January 24, 2022

Breeze Airways plans to introduce larger aircraft on its route from Akron-Canton Airport to Tampa on May 4.

The low-fare carrier said it will begin flying Airbus 220-300 aircraft on the route, one of 17 Breeze routes expected to get the planes.

Breeze, which began flying to Akron-Canton last June, is now using Embraer 190 jets on its routes from CAK to Tampa, New Orleans, and Charleston, South Carolina.

The Airbus 220 has five abreast seating and seats 130 including 12 in a first class section. Designed by Bombardier Aviation, the A220 has been flying since 2013. Breeze said it is acquiring 15 A220-300 jets.

First class service will be available on Breeze flights to Tampa from Akron-Canton with an introductory fare of $99 one way.

A first class ticket entitles passengers to two checked bags, a carry-on bag and a personal item.

The A220 aircraft will be used by Breeze on longer flights from Tampa to eight other airports in addition to Akron-Canton.

Allegiant to Revive Service at Akron-Canton Airport

October 27, 2021

A month after announcing it would pull out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Allegiant Air said it will put down roots at the Akron-Canton Airport next March.

It will be the second time Allegiant has served CAK. It initially began flying to Akron-Canton in May 2015 but left in February 2017 in favor of serving Hopkins.

Allegiant officials said Tuesday that it will link Akron-Canton with four destinations, three of them in Florida.

Starting March 2, Allegiant will fly from CAK to Punta Gorda, Sarasota and St. Petersburg as well as Savannah, Georgia.

Flights will operate twice a week. Allegiant will be the third airline to fly from Akron-Canton to the Tampa Bay region. Spirit Airlines and Breeze Airways fly to Tampa.

Introductory one way fares to all destinations are priced as low as $59.

By moving back to Akron-Canton, Allegiant is banking that leisure and price sensitive travelers living in Greater Cleveland will be willing to drive to CAK, which is located between Akron and Canton in Green Township.

CAK had success in luring travelers from the Cleveland area in the early to mid 2000s when low fare carrier AirTran offered flights to numerous destinations.

Allegiant’s presence will give CAK three low fare carrier, all of which focus primarily on leisure travelers and which usually offer less than daily service on most routes.

At the time that Allegiant said it would cease serving Hopkins, it cited high airline fees as a factor, saying plans to build a new terminal at Hopkins would make the airline’s cost structure prohibitive for its business model.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mike Graci, Allegiant’s manager for airport affairs, said CAK has lower operating costs than Hopkins, which he said it critical to enabling Allegiant to keep offer lower fares.

Graci said Allegiant is studying other potential destinations from Akron-Canton, all of which have beaches or cultural significance.

Ren Camacho, president of the airport, said no funds from a JobsOhio program created to help the state’s airports regain lost service were used to lure Allegiant back to CAK.

He said airport officials have been talking with Allegiant about reinstating service to Akron-Canton since Allegiant left more than four years ago.

Allegiant to Stop Flying to Cleveland in January

October 1, 2021

Low fare carrier Allegiant Air will cease flying to Cleveland Hopkins Airport next January, citing high fees which it said would make it difficult to hold fares down.

The last Allegiant flight will take off from Hopkins on Jan. 3, 2022.

Passengers holding tickets for travel on Allegiant from Cleveland after that date will be offered a refund of their paid fare or accommodated on Allegiant flights serving other airports.

Allegiant flies from Cleveland to seven destinations, including five in Florida. It accounts for 3 percent of Hopkins passenger traffic.

In a statement, Allegiant’s Hilarie Grey, managing director of corporate communications, said the carrier’s flights in Cleveland had been “very successful” but the decision to leave Hopkins was rooted in the airport’s cost structure.

 “Unfortunately with the airport’s construction projects and major expansion, the cost structure has become prohibitive to our operation – our business model hinges upon our ability to keep fares low for our customers,” Grey said.

Allegiant began flying to Hopkins in 2017 after ending its flights to Akron-Canton Airport.

The website Simply Flying suggested that Allegiant might eye a return to CAK as an alternative to flying to Hopkins.

It cited the example of Columbus where Allegiant uses Rickenbacker International Airport rather than John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

Allegiant is the only passenger carrier at Rickenbacker, which also serves charter flights and air cargo operations.

Cleveland’s Allegiant flight destinations include Orlando-Sanford, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Jacksonville in Florida and Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah-Hilton Head, Georgia.

None of those flights operate daily, which is typical for many routes offered by low fare carriers.

Airline fees at Hopkins have traditionally been among the highest in the industry.

Airport officials said that despite some recent construction projects, those fees have not increased to pay for them.

However, Hopkins and many other airports saw the fees they charge airlines spike during the COVID-19 pandemic due to diminished passenger traffic. Those fees were expected to diminish as traffic rebuilt.

A story in The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com said fees at Hopkins are structured to reward carriers that fly more. That hurt Allegiant because its flights operate less than once daily.

Hopkins Airport director Robert Kennedy said he has sought to keep airline fees in check by cutting the airport’s debt and increasing revenue from non-airline operations.

Nonetheless, Hopkins has begun the process of planning to build a new airport terminal and airline fees are expected to help fund that.

Construction of the new terminal is not expected to begin until 2025 at the earliest.

 In other airline news affecting Hopkins, United Airlines plans to launch service on Dec. 18 from Cleveland to Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau in the Bahamas.

The Saturday-only flights will be the only direct service to the Caribbean from Cleveland this winter.

The flights will use Embraer 175 regional jets, meaning they will be operated by a contract carrier flying under the United Express banner.

New Breeze Blows at Akron-Canton Airport

July 6, 2021

Two weeks in it is too soon to say how the newest carrier at Akron-Canton Airport, Breeze Airways, is doing.

The website Simple flying said there are no publicly available statistics showing how particular Breeze routes are performing but that information should be available in a few months.

Breeze began flying between Akron-Canton and Tampa on June 26 and also plans to fly from CAK later this month to New Orleans and Charleston, South Carolina.

Thus far Breeze has launched 39 routes with all of them having an average distance of 604 miles.

None of the new carrier’s routes operate daily. The Tampa route from Akron-Canton operates only on Saturdays.

Officials at Breeze, which began operations in May, have said that flights would only operate on the strongest travel days in order to avoid having to discount fares too much to grow demand.

The first Breeze flight to land at Akron-Canton had 75 passengers aboard a 118-seat Embraer 195 regional jet. An equal number boarded the return flight.

Simple Flying said that Breeze schedule through August show all flights concentrated on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Breeze jets will not be on the ground at Akron-Canton for long, only long enough to disembark passengers and board departing ones.

The maiden Breeze flight to Akron-Canton received the traditional water canon salute from fire fighters as well as a champagne christening from invited local officials.

As Breeze was getting settled at Akron-Canton, though, the airport lost more service when American Eagle discontinued its flights to Philadelphia.

The airport has struggled to regain service lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, which sent air passenger traffic plummeting.

Akron-Canton now has daily flights to Charlotte, Washington (Dulles and Reagan National) airports and Chicago (O’Hare).

Aside from Breeze, less than daily flights are operated by Spirit Airlines from CAK to Orlando and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

New Airline Launches at CAK on Saturday

June 25, 2021

A new airline will launch service Saturday at Akron-Canton Airport.

Breeze Airways will commence Saturday-only service between Tampa and Akron-Canton.

The flights will operate with Embraer 195 regional jet equipment, arriving at CAK at 5:30 p.m. and departing at 6 p.m.

Tampa will be one of three cities that Breeze plans to serve from Akron-Canton.

Starting July 7, Breeze will begin service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday to Charleston, South Carolina; and on July 15 it will inaugurate service to New Orleans on Thursday and Sunday.

The Charleston and New Orleans flights will use Embraer 190 regional jets. Breeze plans to add additional flights from Akron-Canton to New Orleans on Wednesdays during November and December.

Charleston flights are scheduled to arrive at CAK at 12:10 p.m. and depart at 12:40 p.m. New Orleans flights are scheduled to arrive at 10:55 a.m. and depart at 11:25 a.m.

Breeze is a startup carrier that began in late May and was founded by David Neeleman, who is a founder or co-founder of five airlines, including JetBlue.

Akron-Canton will be one of 16 airports being served by Breeze and the sixth to join the network.

Neeleman said 95 percent of Breeze routes currently lack non-stop airline service.

Based in Salt Lake City, Breeze is focusing on providing service from underserved airport to Charleston, New Orleans, Tampa, and Norfolk, Virginia.

Breeze is counting heavily on vacation travel although Neeleman said business travelers could become part of its market in the future.

“Our competition is the couch,” Neeleman said. There are opportunities for people to see new places.”

Neeleman believes high fares and lack of service have discouraged some people from traveling. Breeze hopes to counter that with low fares, destinations to which people want to travel, and kindness.

Breeze also will launch service from Columbus in July to Hartford, Connecticut; Norfolk; Charleston, New Orleans and Tampa.

Akron-Canton officials hope Breeze will enable the airport to bounce back from revenue and passenger losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Dalpiaz, the airport vice president of marketing, said that in 2020 the airport lost $3 million.

Before the pandemic the airport was handling 2,300 passengers a day but that fell to a low of 60 passengers a day. It has since risen to 1,652 passengers per day.

Akron-Canton also been hindered by the loss of service by Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air. All three have elected to focus their Northeast Ohio flights at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Still serving Akron-Canton are Spirit Airlines with less than daily year-around flights to Orlando and seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

American Eagle flies to Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington (Reagan National) while United Express flies to Chicago (O’Hare) and Washington (Dulles). Flights to Houston and New York (LaGuardia) that were dropped during the pandemic have yet to return.

Also missing from Akron-Canton is Delta Air Lines, which suspended its flights to Atlanta in May 2020.

Dalpiaz said Delta dropped its flights to Akron-Canton because of the loss of business travel during the pandemic.

“It’s something that we’re not giving up hope on and we know that corporate travel will be back and so we’re keeping in contact with Delta,” she said.

Akron-Canton officials said they are working with area legislators and JobsOhio to provide local and state dollars to attract airline service.

Thus far local governments and organizations have pledged a collective $250,000 to be used to lure new or restored airline service at Akron-Canton. The state has offered additional support.

Airport officials said the coming of Breeze was a result of those efforts.

In an unrelated development, the Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded Ohio airports more than $2.2 million in economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic through the Airport Coronavirus Relief Program.

The recipients were Cleveland-Hopkins International, $1.48 million; Columbus Regional Airport Authority, $893,548; James M Cox Dayton International, $181,143; Akron-Canton Regional, $87,307; Rickenbacker International, $32,951; and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, $26,603.

Spirit Airlines also has announced that it will launch service between Cleveland and Miami on Nov. 17.

The carrier has not yet announced flight times for that service. Spirit also flies from Cleveland to the nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where it is the largest carrier.

The Cleveland-Miami route also is served by American and Frontier airlines.

Spirit said it will link Miami with 30 destinations, including 12 airports in the Caribbean and South America.