|When Atlantic City received its first AirTran service from Atlanta earlier this summer, the disco band Earth, Wind and Fire welcomed the passengers to the entertainment city whose slogan reads “Always Turned On”.|
Atlantic City on the New Jersey coastline is famous for its boardwalk, casinos, shops, beaches and views across the Atlantic Ocean. Incorporated in 1854, the city’s original appeal was as a beach resort reached by train from Philadelphia. The city’s famous boardwalk boasted numerous impressive hotels. However, with the advent of cheap air travel enabling people to head for the warmer climes of Florida, the city’s popularity waned. In 1978, the first legal casino opened and acted as the catalyst for the city’s resurgence which included hosting many Mike Tyson fights and the predictably lavish Trump Taj Mahal hotel and casino.
The city is served by its own airport, Atlantic City International Airport, which serves both civil and military flights. Since 2003, the airport has regularly handled around one million annual passengers on a mix of scheduled and scheduled charter flights. Demand is relatively stable all year round, though there is a traditional ‘Florida-style’ dip in September.
Plenty of Spirit in Atlantic City
In recent years, the dominant airline at the airport has been self-styled ‘ultra low cost carrier’ Spirit Airlines, which operates A319s to several destinations in Florida. In May this year, it also added daily flights to Boston. In mid-June, AirTran began twice-daily flights from its base at Atlanta and daily flights to Orlando, in direct competition with Spirit Airlines.
This week saw the launch of four-times weekly flights to Toronto with WestJet, heralding a new era of international services. Flights depart Toronto on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 19:15 and arrive in New Jersey at 20:44, before leaving Atlantic City at 21:30 and getting back to Canada at 23:07. The full network of destinations served this winter is shown below.
|Destination||Carriers (Weekly Frequencies)|
|Orlando (MCO)||Spirit Airlines (19), AirTran (7)|
|Fort Lauderdale (FLL)||Spirit Airlines (20)|
|Atlanta (ATL)||AirTran (14)|
|Fort Myers (RSW)||Spirit Airlines (11)|
|Boston (BOS)||Spirit Airlines (7)|
|Myrtle Beach (MYR)||Spirit Airlines (7)|
|Tampa (TPA)||Spirit Airlines (7)|
|West Palm Beach (PBI)||Spirit Airlines (4)|
|Toronto (YYZ)||WestJet (4)|
|Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 9 November 2009|
Spirit Airlines also used to served Detroit (until November 2007) and Las Vegas (until December 2007).
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Scheduled charters for keen gamblers
Throughout the year flights to other destinations are provided for Harrah’s Entertainment by Gold Transportation on a Sky King or Pace Airlines 737. These charter flights bring people to Atlantic for between two and three days. In 2008 the biggest traffic flows were seen from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Greensboro (North Carolina).