Competition Grows As Miami Gets New Southwest & JetBlue Flights

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Miami International Airport (MIA) is the largest airport in South Florida. Over the last week, the airport has received some good news from Southwest and JetBlue with expanded services. Both airlines are recent entrants at MIA, and they are building up the competition.

Miami International Airport
As one of American’s largest international gateways, the airport is getting competitive. Photo: Miami-Dade Aviation Department

Southwest Airlines adds more Miami flights

Southwest is growing to 16 daily flights out of Miami after launching flights last November. The airline, last November, added flights to Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, and Tampa.

Southwest is growing to 16 daily flights with twice-daily flights to Atlanta, Denver, and Nashville. The airline will add daily service to Dallas-Love. This is on top of the carrier’s four daily flights to Baltimore and Houston-Hobby, and the single daily flight to Chicago-Midway.

Southwest is focusing on growing to its bases, which is key for filling up its planes, as the airline pivots ever-so-slightly away from its point-to-point model.

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JetBlue adds another route out of Miami

To the Northeastern United States, JetBlue is adding its fifth route out of Miami. Starting on June 24th, JetBlue is growing to 15 daily flights. The newest destination is a daily service to Hartford in Connecticut.

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JetBlue flew into MIA for the first time on February 11th, which was the airline’s 21st birthday. The first flights were to four cities, with up to four daily flights to Boston, up to two daily flights from Los Angeles, up to two daily flights to New York-JFK, and up to four daily flights to Newark. JetBlue is putting Mint service on its flights between Miami and Los Angeles.

JetBlue is looking to be Connecticut’s largest airline, and the new route to Miami should help the airline further reach that goal and retain its market position once it gets there.

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The competition grows in Miami

Miami International Airport is a massive hub for American Airlines. For the last few years, the airline has steadily grown its Miami hub and maintained a massive presence to Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. The airline has also expanded in transatlantic markets, building up a large connecting hub.

American planes Miami
American Airlines has grown Miami into a large connecting hub. Photo: Miami-Dade Aviation Department

However, over the last year, the landscape in Miami has changed. Airlines have instead focused on building up origin and destination (O&D) flights from points in the US to Miami.

Southwest and JetBlue have traditionally stayed away from Miami, with flights mostly to and from Fort Lauderdale over Miami, as it is a little cheaper to operate at Fort Lauderdale than Miami.

Growing in Miami on these routes puts some pressure on American’s revenue premium that it gets on nonstop flights from Miami. With Southwest and JetBlue entering some of those markets, it puts pressure on American.

Miami has had a resiliency to it as a market, as the beaches and culture scene remained top attractions for outdoor-focused, warm-weather seeking leisure travelers.

Ultimately, neither JetBlue nor Southwest Airlines are massive threats to American in Miami. JetBlue, while it may be a partner to American Airlines in the Northeastern US, the airline has not shied away from competing against American in markets that it believes it can do well in– such as to and from Miami.

Frontier plane
Frontier Airlines is also growing in Miami. Photo: Miami-Dade Aviation Department

Not to be left out, ultra-low-cost-carrier Frontier Airlines inaugurated new routes from Miami to Cancun, the US Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic. Additional flights to Central America are expected to start next month. Catering mostly to point-to-point travel from Miami to these destinations, the airline will come in only a few times a week on these routes with its unbundled low fares.

What do you make of the growing competitive scene at Miami International Airport? Let us know in the comments!

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