Posts Tagged ‘Akron-Canton Airport’

Hopkins Raising Parking Fees, CAK CEO Says Airport Has Lowest Fares in Northeast Ohio

December 31, 2022

The new year will bring higher parking rates at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

New rates that become effective Jan. 1 will see charges increase by $2 to $1 per day for vehicles parked over a 24-hour period.

The new rates will be Smart Garage: $22 (originally $20); Red Lot: $20 (originally $19); Blue Lot: $20 (originally $19); Orange Lot: $17 (originally $16); and Brown Lot: $14 (originally $13)

In other Northeast Ohio airport news, the head of the Akron-Canton Airport said recently that the airport located near Green between its namesake cities now features the lowest average fares in the region.

CEO Ren Camacho said it was part of a transformation of the airport that has played out over the past three years.

Camacho lauded the loyalty of local businesses using the airport and said the addition of low fare carriers Allegiant Air and Breeze Airways within the past two years has helped to keep fares lower.

He noted that as recently as 2019 Akron-Canton had some of the highest average air fares in Northeast Ohio.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic also has transformed the flight offerings from Akron-Canton.

The airport has lost direct service to Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, Washington Dulles Airport, and Houston.

It also has lost Spirit Airlines, which in early summer suspended its flights from CAK with plans to resume them in November. But as that month approached Spirit said it wasn’t returning to Akron-Canton.

Both Breeze and Allegiant offer less-than-daily service, much of it oriented to Florida with flights also serving Las Vegas; Charleston, South Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee. Some routes are seasonal.

Daily service has shrunk to flights to Chicago O’Hare Airport by United Express; Charlotte, North Carolina, by American Eagle; and Reagan Washington National Airport by American Eagle.

Breeze to Launch CAK-Orlando Route in March

October 20, 2022

Breeze Airways said this week it will launch twice-weekly service between Akron-Canton Airport and Orlando International Airport next March.

The flights will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing CAK at 10:20 a.m. and returning at 3:35 p.m.

The announcement came a week after Spirit Airlines said it would not resume service to Akron-Canton in November has it had earlier indicated it would.

Until Spirit suspended service to CAK last June, it had flow to Orlando year around with those flights operating daily during some times of the year.

Allegiant Air this fall launched service from Akron-Canton to Orlando-Sanford Airport, which is located about 30 miles north of Orlando. Those flights do not operate daily.

CAK President Ren Camacho said Orlando is the top destination for leisure travelers using the airport.

Breeze also has routes from Akron-Canton to Tampa and West Palm Beach in Florida, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans and Charleston, South Carolina. It briefly flew from CAK to Hartford, Connecticut.

None of those flights operate daily and some of those destinations are seasonal. The low fare carrier began service to Akron-Canton in June 2021.

Spirit Will Not resume CAK Flights

October 14, 2022

Spirit Airlines will not resume service to the Akron-Canton Airport next month.

The low fare carrier had suspended service to the airport in June, saying at the time that it would resume those flights in November.

The Plain Dealer reported that an airport official had initially said Spirit was “postponing” its resumption of service until next May.

Later that same official acknowledged that the service suspension is permanent.

Spirit had flown year-round to Orlando and offered seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

The loss of Spirit is the latest in a series of airline service losses that Akron-Canton Airport has suffered in recent years, with many of those rooted in air service restructuring prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic that began in spring 2020.

Spirit began serving Akron-Canton in 2016. Last year Spirit handled 81,500 passengers at Akron-Canton, which was about 20 percent of the airport’s total.

In June 2021, a start-up airline, Breeze Airways, began service at CAK, followed by the return of Allegiant Air last March.

Allegiant had served Akron-Canton earlier but pulled its flights out in 2017 favor of concentrating its service at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. That same year Southwest Airlines also ended service to Akron-Canton in favor of focusing on its service to Cleveland and Columbus.

Last January Allegiant ended its Cleveland flights in favor of resuming Northeast Ohio service at CAK.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Akron-Canton has lost air service to Atlanta, New York, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington Dulles Airport.

American Eagle, which operates regional jet flights for American Airlines, also has suspended its flights to Chicago O’Hare.

Current service at Akron-Canton is provided by American Eagle to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Washington Reagan National Airport; and by United Express to Chicago O’Hare.

Breeze and Allegiant operate less than daily service, most of it focused on points in Florida and the Southeast.

Allegiant last week launched nonstop service from Akron-Canton to Orlando Sanford International Airport while Breeze recently began service to Las Vegas.

Breeze Drops CAK-Hartford Flights

August 1, 2022

Akron-Canton Airport has continued to lose flights as result of industry staffing issues.

Breeze Airways last month ended its service from CAK to Hartford, Connecticut, a month after it began

An airline spokesman cited workforce issues. “We’ve had to make some schedule adjustments given crew constraints,” said Gareth Edmondson-Jones.

Breeze, which began flying to Akron-Canton in June 2021, began the twice-weekly Hartford flights on June 3 and ended them on July 1. It has planned to end the service in early September.

The low-fare carrier flies from Akron-Canton to six destinations, although none of those flights operate daily and some are seasonal.

Akron-Canton has suffered a spate of service cuts and suspensions this year. American Eagle stopped flying to Philadelphia, United Express ended service to Washington Dulles Airport last March and Spirit Airlines suspended all service to CAK in early summer.

However, new flights are expected to begin at Akron-Canton later this year. Breeze said it plans to begin flying to Las Vegas in October and Spirit has indicated it will restore service to Orlando in November.

Allegiant Air said it will begin service to Orlando-Sanford Airport in early October and to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in November.

Lisa Dalpiaz, vice president of marketing and air service development with the Akron-Canton Airport, told The Plain Dealer that Hartford flights could return next summer. “Bookings were increasing and awareness was spreading for that route, so I could imagine it coming back next season,” she said.

Report Says Air Travelers Favoring Hopkins

June 8, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to air travel including a preference by Northeast Ohio air travelers to use Cleveland Hopkins Airport rather than Akron-Canton Airport, a report by WOIO-TV said.

The report attributed that trend to, in part, lack of air travel options at CAK.

Some air service that was lost at Akron-Canton during the pandemic has yet to return.

This includes Delta Air Line service to Atlanta, United Express flights to Houston, and American Eagle flights to New York LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare airports.

United Express last spring ceased flying from CAK to Washington Dulles and Spirit Airlines is suspending service to Akron-Canton this month until November.

Some of those losses have been offset by such gains as Breeze Airways coming to Akron-Canton a year ago and Allegiant Air returning last March.

Both of those carriers offer low fare but less than daily flights to leisure travel destinations, many of which are in Florida.

Of course even before the pandemic Hopkins was by far the dominant airport in Northeast Ohio with 78 percent of the business.

The WOIO report did not say what percentage of the market Hopkins has now, writing only that, “a big chunk of travelers who once chose to fly out of Akron-Canton and other smaller airports in the area are now coming to Cleveland.”

At one time Youngstown had commercial flights but those ended in January 2018. Scheduled air service at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport also ended during the pandemic and has not yet returned.

Cleveland’s Director of port control Robert Kennedy, who also serves as the director of Hopkins, said traffic at Hopkins is almost back to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

During the summer travel season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Hopkins expects to handle 2.8 million travelers. Last summer it saw 2.3 million travelers during the summer travel season.

Kennedy expects some increases in flights at both Hopkins and Akron-Canton once airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are able to hire additional workers.

As for more travelers seeming to prefer flying out of Hopkins, Kennedy said, that market has shifted and is “responding well to the flights and the carriers and the destinations” that Hopkins has.

“As soon as the resource issue is resolved we think we’ll see more flights,” Kennedy said.

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.

CVSR Ends Mask Mandate for Passengers

April 19, 2022

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad said on Tuesday that it will no longer require passengers to wear facial masks about trains or at CVSR stations.

The tourist railroad cited a decision by the Transportation Security Administration to no longer enforce the mask mandate, which has been in effect for more than a year for all forms of public transportation.

TSA acted after a federal judge in Florida struck down the mask rule.

In a related development, Akron Metro RTA said it no longer requires passengers to wear masks while riding buses or while inside the agency’s transit hubs.

Officials at Akron-Canton and Cleveland Hopkins airports also said wearing of masks is no longer mandatory while inside the airport terminal. Most airlines also have made mask wearing aboard planes optional.

Greater Cleveland RTA had not announced its mask policy on either its website or Facebook page as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Merger Could Affect NE Ohio Airport

April 17, 2022

Officials at Cleveland Hopkins Airport are taking a wait and see approach to an effort by JetBlue Aiways to take over Spirit Airlines.

Spirit is also being sought by Frontier Airlines and two companies announced plans two months ago to merge subject to regulatory approval.

JetBlue has made a $3.6 billion unsolicited offer to buy Spirit, which is known for low fares but also cramped seats and numerous fees.

All three carriers fly out of Hopkins but JetBlue has a small presence there, accounting for just 2 percent of the commercial passenger traffic from Hopkins last year.

By contrast Spirit and Frontier are the fourth and sixth largest carriers at Hopkins in terms of traffic.

A combined Spirit and Frontier would eclipse United Airlines, which generates the most traffic from Hopkins.

JetBlue, which began serving Hopkins in 2015, flies from Cleveland to Boston and Fort Lauderdale, but plans to drop flights to the latter on May 1. However, JetBlue expects to reinstate the route in October.

Spirit also has flights from Akron-Canton Airport to Orlando with seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers in Floridam and to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Neither Frontier nor JetBlue fly to CAK, although Frontier once did.

From Hopkins, Spirit serves 11 destinations while Frontier flies to 13.

Industry observers noted that JetBlue and Spirit have many differences in practice and philosophy.

Whereas JetBlue offers a higher-quality product that includes more legroom, more entertainment options, complimentary snacks and beverages, and higher fares, Spirit offers basic transportation for low fares but with fees for many services.

Hopkins director Robert Kennedy told The Plain Dealer he expected the airport to feel more of an economic effect from a Frontier-Spirit merger than a JetBlue-Spirit combination.

“It could produce a larger concentration of flights and possibly lead to other destinations for us,” Kennedy said about a Frontier-Spirit merger.

He also said a combined Spirit-Frontier might establish a crew base or maintenance facility at Hopkins.

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.