Melbourne, Florida – EIGHT transatlantic routes, but still no New York
Orlando Melbourne is to welcome eight transatlantic routes to the UK from March 2022.
While this has already been revealed, what wasn’t known were the start dates or frequencies. Manchester, for example, is to have up to five weekly services.
TUI UK is moving from Orlando Sanford, at which it had 188,400 seats in 2019, OAG data indicates. Its Sanford capacity in 2019 rose by just 32,200 seats over 2010, a CAGR of 2%.
Melbourne expects 156,000 TUI passengers in 2022, with 30,000 – or 19% – for cruise reasons.
Aside from inevitable significant financial incentives, TUI is reputedly moving to Melbourne to be closer to Port Canaveral, from which its cruise passengers will travel. It is half as far as from Sanford.
Conversely, of course, Melbourne is much farther to Universal Studios and Disney World, reaffirming the importance of incentives.
|Routing: Melbourne to…||Start date||Weekly frequencies|
|Birmingham||5 April 2022||Up to 3|
|Bristol||4 May 2022||2|
|Doncaster Sheffield||4 May 2022||1|
|Edinburgh||13 July 2022||1|
|Glasgow||12 July 2022||1|
|London Gatwick||28 March 2022||2|
|Manchester||3 April 2022||Up to 5|
|Newcastle||6 May 2022||Up to 2|
|Source: TUI’s booking engine. Subject to change. Note: only limited bookings are available at present.|
Melbourne – to have a larger international network than domestic
Perhaps uniquely for a US airport, Melbourne will have a larger international network in 2022 than domestic. Unless, of course, Breeze or another operator meaningfully expands there in the meantime.
Melbourne’s last international services ended in April 2019. In the past decade, its international network has comprised:
- Elite Airways to Bimini (April 2017 to January 2019)
- Porter Airlines from Toronto City (December 2015 to April 2019)
- Ottawa with Porter (December 2017 to April 2019)
- Porter from Windsor (December 2017 to April 2019)
This current year, Melbourne has just three domestic routes: Delta to Atlanta and American to both Charlotte and Philadelphia.
Next week, Atlanta has 45 weekly departures: 25 to Atlanta, 19 to Charlotte, and one Philadelphia one. This is down by just five YOY, OAG shows.
Melbourne lost both Washington National with American and Portland (ME) with Elite Airways in 2019, typically served twice-weekly and once-weekly respectively.
These cuts – including the above international – are responsible for Melbourne’s 2% decline in seats last year.
This all raises the question: where could be served?
Washington top unserved city; 34,000 if Baltimore’s included
Around 83% of Melbourne’s domestic traffic last year was indirect, clearly showing how underserved the airport is by non-stops.
Melbourne had 15 city markets within a 1,500-mile radius with at least 5,000 passengers. This is similar to what many brand-new Ryanair and Wizz Air markets in Europe have before strong demand stimulation.
As Washington is now unserved, this city had almost 23,000 total point-to-point passengers last year. And with minimal non-stop traffic, it still had almost 20,000 indirect passengers.
With strong demand stimulation, several markets, especially in the north or northeast, could potentially support two or possibly three weekly services on a seasonal basis.