Southwest and Allegiant preparing to launch more new routes in March and May
For the month of January, passenger traffic at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) increased 6% over the figure for December 2020, the Airport Authority has announced.
January passengers totaled 126,704, compared to 119,114 in December 2020, a news release notes. Compared to the figure for January 2020, passenger traffic was down 56%, the release adds; the January 2020 total was 225,655.
With the addition of Southwest Airlines, which started service at SRQ on Feb. 14, “passenger numbers are expected to increase rapidly over the next few months,” the release points out. Ten airlines are serving 44 destinations from SRQ, the release adds.
“We expect our February passenger numbers to be strong and our March numbers to be close to where they were in 2019,” Rick Piccolo, president and CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, said in the release.
During a December 2020 report to Sarasota County’s Tourist Development Council, Piccolo discussed the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on airport operations. In March 2020, he said, when the pandemic began in Florida, airport traffic ended up down 34.1%, compared to the passenger count for March 2019. April saw fewer than 10,000 passengers at SRQ, he added.
“With almost every major U.S. airline now serving our airport,” providing low fares and an abundance of destinations,” he continued in the Feb. 17 news release, “the local community and visitors can experience the convenience of flying directly to their destination without the hassle of driving to or from other airports outside our area.”
The following are upcoming service start dates, the release points out:
• March 11, Atlanta, Ga. (ATL) — Southwest, year-round service.
• March 13, Columbus, Ohio (CMH) — Southwest, new seasonal service.
• March 13, Indianapolis (IND) — Southwest, new seasonal service.
• March 13, Pittsburgh (PIT) — Southwest, new seasonal service.
• May 27, Peoria, Ill. (PIA) — Allegiant, new seasonal service.
• May 28, Concord, N.C. (USA) — Allegiant, new seasonal service.