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Fort Lauderdale: welcomes over 20 new routes this winter

Image: On route to For Lauderdale
More routes than this: In the space of just seven weeks starting on 1 November a total of 89 new weekly services will take to the skies.

The marketing team at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Broward County Florida (to give the airport its full title) have clearly been busy people this year as this winter will see the launch of over 20 new services from six airlines. In the space of just seven weeks starting on 1 November a total of 89 new weekly services will take to the skies.

Newcomer Allegiant launching 11 services

Map: Florida routesThe biggest news is the arrival of low-cost phenomenon Allegiant Air which will connect Fort Lauderdale to 11 new communities with frequencies of between two and three flights per week. Operating to minor airports in various eastern states Allegiant focuses on leisure markets usually ignored by the larger carriers. In most cases the airline has a monopoly on the route.

Logo: AllegiantOther LCC carriers starting new services include Frontier, jetBlue and Spirit. However, American Airlines is also starting two new daily services to San Jose and Santo Domingo.

Image: FT Lauderdale International Airport
Soon to be seen by a lot of people from a lot of new cities.
Airline Destination Start Date Weekly Frequency
Frontier Ponce (Puerto Rico) 01 Nov 07 7
jetBlue Buffalo 01 Nov 07 7
jetBlue Syracuse 01 Nov 07 7
jetBlue Ponce (Puerto Rico) 05 Nov 07 7
Spirit Aruba 10 Nov 07 7
Allegiant Air Allentown 14 Nov 07 3
Allegiant Air Greensboro 14 Nov 07 2
Allegiant Air Knoxville 15 Nov 07 3
Allegiant Air Greenville/Spartanburg 15 Nov 07 3
Frontier Memphis 15 Nov 07 7
Allegiant Air Plattsburgh 16 Nov 07 2
Allegiant Air Huntington 16 Nov 07 2
Allegiant Air Tri-Cities 12 Dec 07 2
American Airlines San Jose 13 Dec 07 7
American Airlines Santo Domingo 13 Dec 07 7
Allegiant Air Peoria 13 Dec 07 2
Allegiant Air Chattanooga 13 Dec 07 3
Spirit Grand Bahama 13 Dec 07 7
Allegiant Air Fort Wayne 14 Dec 07 2
Allegiant Air Rockford 14 Dec 07 2
Westjet Halifax 16 Feb 08 2

Traffic stumbled in 2006 after rapid growth

Unlike many other airports Fort Lauderdale (FLL) was not unduly affected by the events of ‘9/11′ as traffic grew nearly 5% in 2002. In fact, traffic doubled between 1996 and 2005 from 11.2 million passengers to 22.4 million. In 2005 the airport was ranked inside the Top 50 of world airports by passenger traffic but dropped to 56th in 2006 according to ACI statistics.

Chart: Fort Lauderdale Traffic 1996 - 2006
Source: www.broward.org/airport

Even though domestic traffic fell 6% in 2006, international traffic grew 7%. The seasonality profile of FLL is similar to other Florida airports with the peak period in March corresponding to ‘spring break’ for students.

Chart: Fort Lauderdale Seasonality 2005-07
Source: www.broward.org/airport

Growth in July 2007 of 10.9% represents the first double-digit growth month for the airport since September 2005. For the third month in a row Spirit Airlines was the airport’s largest carrier with just under 20% of all traffic. It carried nearly 400,000 passengers, an increase of 72% over the previous July. Low-cost carriers have rapidly been growing their market share at the airport as several legacy carriers have withdrawn routes.

Airline Traffic Share
Jan-Dec 2005
Traffic Share
Jan-Dec 2006
Traffic Share
Jan-Jul 2007
Spirit 9.1% 9.7% 14.0%
Delta* 19.6% 16.5% 13.8%
Southwest 12.0% 13.1% 12.7%
jetBlue 11.6% 12.1% 12.0%
US Airways/America West 12.3% 11.5% 10.4%
Continental 6.3% 7.5% 9.2%
American* 9.6% 9.1% 7.8%
AirTran 4.1% 4.9% 6.3%
Northwest 3.1% 3.3% 3.3%
United 2.6% 2.8% 2.4%
* Includes commuter carrier partners
Source: www.broward.org/airports

According to US BTS statistics the top five leading destination airports from FLL in the first six months of 2007 were Atlanta, New York La Guardia, Newark, New York JFK and Philadelphia. Atlanta’s traffic at just over one million passengers represents around 10.6% of total domestic traffic. Combining all three major New York airports gives a total market share of just under 20%.

Fares are among the cheapest in the US

With such a high proportion of services operated by LCCs it is not surprising that routes from Fort Lauderdale have average fares which, when adjusted for stage length, are consistently between 10% and 20% below the national average and among the cheapest in the country.

Period Average Fare Fare Premium
2005 Q1 $139 -14%
2005 Q2 $132 -19%
2005 Q3 $125 -22%
2005 Q4 $141 -15%
2006 Q1 $148 -13%
2006 Q2 $156 -15%
2006 Q3 $143 -20%
2006 Q4 $153 -11%
Source: US DOT Office of Aviation Analysis

The large number of new routes from LCCs is likely to keep FLL at the forefront of airports offering value for money to its airline passengers.


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