Miami’s top-10 unserved markets in South America

Miami’s top-10 unserved markets in South America

Eastern Airlines began Miami to Asunción on 3 January, with Belo Horiztone coming in March. What are Miami’s top-10 remaining unserved markets?

Eastern Airlines began Miami to Asunción, Paraguay, on 3 January.  Operating twice-weekly, the 6,155-kilometre route uses B767-300ERs.

American Airlines was the last operator on the route.  It served it between 2012 and early 2015 on typically a four-weekly basis using B757-200ERs.

The appeal of Asuncion to Eastern Airlines is clear. It was Miami’s top unserved route to South America in 2019, with over 55,000 round-trip P2P passengers.

It fits into the carrier’s network strategy of targeting unserved and underserved markets that chiefly have strong VFR demand.

Miami – Guayaquil, for example, saw 48% of passengers travelling indirectly before it was launched by the airline.

Eastern Airlines will begin another route from Miami – to Belo Horizonte – from 29 March. It was Miami’s fourth-largest unserved market, with 41,000 P2P. 

Miami’s top-10 unserved South American markets

With significant P2P demand, Porto Alegre and Curitiba, both in deepest Brazil, are the most obvious.  They are now Miami’s top-two unserved markets.

Porto Alegre and Curitiba also have substantial demand to the wider US and Canada, most of which could logically be served over Miami.

Indeed, American Airlines served both cities from Miami, with Curitiba served from 2013 to 2016.

  Miami’s estimated P2P round-trip demand (pre-stimulation) Rest of US* and also to Canada Market opportunity
Porto Alegre 47,162 141,647 188,809
Curitiba 43,800 126,767 170,567
Valencia 39,585 11,179 50,764
Mendoza 29,481 37,626 67,107
La Paz 28,847 49,940 78,787
Florianopolis 24,556 71,233 95,789
Rosario 24,312 24,217 48,529
Cucuta 22,914 26,853 49,767
Cochabamba 20,445 10,449 30,894
Bucaramanga 19,624 37,786 57,410
  300,726 537,697 838,423
Source: estimated traffic using booking data obtained from OAG Traffic Analyser. * Not Fort Lauderdale.

Miami to Curitiba?

Curitiba seems ripe for a return at some point.  It has significant local traffic and connecting potential, and the following table highlights strong relative fare-distance performance. 

However, Curitiba suffers from a relatively short runway (7,277 feet, 2,218 metres) and reasonably high elevation (2,988 feet, 911 metres).  Perhaps the use of B787-8s would aid performance versus the B767-300ERs that American previously used.

By contrast, Florianopolis – Miami P2P traffic is nearly half Curitiba’s, yet it also performs strongly by fare-distance and the airport’s runway length is longer and elevation almost at sea level. It’s also known as a ‘hidden gem’ and appears to have much tourist potential.

Miami will have nine routes to Brazil this year, OAG shows, with American, LATAM, Gol, and now Eastern.  The fare-distance of these nine have also been plotted, and Curitiba performs well in comparison to most of these except the true core markets.

And so does Belo Horizonte, which may one day again have more service than a twice-weekly, P2P-only offering.  American served it for many years until 2018, and LATAM operated it until 2016.

Separately, Spirit began Bucaramanga, Miami’s tenth-largest unserved market, to Fort Lauderdale on 20 November.

Miami’s top-10 unserved markets in South America

Red = unserved from Miami.  Green = served comparison Brazilian markets. Fares based on 2019 data. Source: booking data obtained from OAG Traffic Analyser.


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