The US Airports That Are Winning: Fort Myers Comes Out Top

What do Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, and Sarasota all have in common? They’re the USA’s winning airports this July by the number of flights added compared with 2019. In all, some 12 airports have doubled the number of services, while 29 have added 100+ extra flights. Does your local airport feature?

Salt Lake City has nearly 500 more one-way flights this coming July than July 2019. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia.

The US saw two million passengers enter a TSA screening checkpoint on June 11th, the highest number in more than 15 months. All eyes are now on the future, with the key summer month of July rapidly approaching.

Over 701,000 flights are scheduled in July across more than 600 US airports, examining data from Cirium reveals. This equates to 83% of what was available in July 2019. And while 406 airports now have fewer flights available, many stand out positively.

Southwest has played a significant role in the growth of some airports, such as Bozeman, Destin, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Panama City, Pensacola, Sarasota, and Savannah. Photo: Getty Images

29 airports have added 100+ flights in July

Some 29 US airports have added 100 or more one-way flights this July, with 10,400 extra flights in all. They are clearly beach or outdoor-focused. These 29 collectively have 49,000 flights next month, but that’s less than 7% of the US total.

The top-15 fastest-growing airports, shown below, include Salt Lake City, which is the only large hub to feature, per the Federal Aviation Administration’s airport categorization. Salt Lake has 455 extra services, naturally hugely because of Delta, but also from almost across-the-board increases. This offsets the loss of international service by both Aeromexico and KLM.

AirportFlights in July 2021 (one-way)In July 2019 (one-way)Difference% change
Fort Myers3,1021,9221,18061%
Myrtle Beach2,6411,5731,06868%
Sarasota1,528645883137%
Bozeman1,56090765372%
Panama City (Florida)1,28465962595%
Destin Fort Walton Beach1,6711,10856351%
Key West1,20164156087%
Salt Lake City11,69111,1924995%
Pensacola1,8041,40539928%
Hilton Head648289359124%
Boise2,5712,22934215%
Jackson Hole95565530046%
Savannah2,1151,83028516%
Charleston2,9162,63727911%
Kalispell89766822934%

Fort Myers is #1

Leading the nation in July is Fort Myers. This airport has seen its number of one-way flights pass the 3,000 mark. This is the result of over 1,100 additional flights, pushing the Florida airport into the US’ 50th-largest spot. It is now one place ahead of San Antonio, despite Breeze’s entry there with three routes.

While JetBlue and Sun Country have cut Fort Myers flights, six carriers have all grown, led by Southwest. While second in size to Delta in July 2019, Southwest is now very firmly first, with almost 900 one-way flights across 22 routes. United (+295 flights), American (+229), and Spirit (+143) have all grown strongly too.

United has grown strongly at Fort Myers. The B737-900ER is its top aircraft there in July, with O’Hare and Newark seeing the type the most. Photo: Alan Wilson via Wikimedia.

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12 airports have more than doubled in size

Some 12 airports have more than doubled the number of flights versus July 2019, although almost are small and have grown from a very low base. For example, Ogden, Utah, now has 300% more flights exclusively from the arrival of new entrant Avelo from Burbank.

Meanwhile, South Carolina’s Hilton Head has added 12 routes with American, Delta, and United, together with big growth on all but one existing route. Hilton Head has 648 flights next month, against 289 in 2019. It now has 19 routes with three carriers, up from seven.

Sarasota’s route map this coming July. Southwest will serve 16 destinations. Image: OAG Mapper.

Sarasota has done well

The biggest airport to have more than doubled flights is Sarasota. The Florida airport also added the third-highest number of extra flights, with over 1,500 services to operate. Southwest launched Sarasota in February 2021, and this July has about 500 flights across 16 routes. Allegiant, Frontier, and United have also grown very strongly.

Will you be flying from any of the US winners next month? Let us know in the comments.

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