This is primarily because leisure travel to Florida has rebounded quickly from its pandemic-era lows. This has propelled numerous U.S. carriers to expand operations to the state. According to recent data, US airlines are redrawing the flight map of America as they cut business travel routes that the Covid-19 pandemic had rendered unfeasible.
A widespread reshuffling is underway, with less service to traditional business hubs and jets redeployed to holiday destinations and on-the-rise cities. With a subtropical climate that attracts visitors all year, Florida is a US state located in the country’s southeastern part.
It is the country’s 8th most densely populated state, with Jacksonville renowned for having the most significant city population of more than 900,000 people. People from different parts of the world move to Florida every year in search of new life.
The sunshine state recorded 329,717 new residents from April 2020 to April 2021. Most people move to Florida due to the lower cost of living, lower property taxes, and no state income tax. Most major U.S. carriers, including United, Delta, American, and Southwest, have added capacity to Florida, either by adding additional flights on existing routes, adding new routes altogether, or sending larger planes.
United, which in times past had no hub in the South, has decided to increase capacity. Sometime in late 2021, United Airlines announced it will soon operate 195 flights from the Midwest to 12 Florida destinations, and this is its “biggest domestic schedule since the start of the pandemic,” a decision United said was “driven by demand”.
Reasons Why Airlines Are Ditching Business Hubs and Rerouting Flights to Florida
While most major US carriers are stating that surging demands remain the only reason, below are some of the primary reasons why airlines are ditching business hubs and rerouting flights to Florida;
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Increased Leisure Travel
According to reports, leisure travel has shown early signs of a comeback, with summer and holiday travel spikes. Meanwhile, business travel has remained permanently restricted to Zoom and experts still believe that business travel will permanently drop by 50%.
Owing to that, airlines are rerouting from business routes that connect big cities and moving towards leisure routes that bring on the sunshine. United, Delta, and American airlines have all cut service to London.
Also slashed are once-common direct flights from U.S. hubs to Frankfurt, Tokyo, Sydney, and Sao Paulo. Owing to the lack of business demand, airlines are now focusing on leisure travel and providing more service for customers traveling to visit family and friends.
Those departing from such secondary cities as Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis will find more direct flights than ever—particularly if they’re going to warmer outposts in Florida such as Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Key West, and Tampa.
Florida is a Perfect Getaway Destination
Florida lies on the east coast and you can save on flight hours when heading to Europe. Florida is also an excellent starting point for travels to South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Renowned as the world’s cruise capital, the sunshine state is home to over 20 cruise lines, including Regent Seven Seas, Disney, and Royal Caribbean. Most of the seasons in the state are usually warm and mild.
Florida is a Nature-filled Recreational Hub
Note that the sunshine state features over 9,200 miles of shared-use, equestrian, bicycling, and hiking trails. It also features over 4,000 miles of trails for paddling. Have it in mind that the country’s largest subtropical wilderness, the Florida Everglades, contains 1.5 million acres of wetlands, hardwood hammocks, mangrove forests, marshes, and saw grass.
The sunshine state is also home to one national scenic trail, three national forests, and 12 national parks (including monuments, seashores, and preserves). Aside from that, the sunshine state also has at least 37 state forests and 175 state parks.
Owing to the highest number of golf courses (1,200) in the State, Florida is renowned as a host of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum. It is also home to Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, the only International Dark-Sky Association-certified state park. All these make it one of the best places to travel.
Florida is World’s Fishing and Boating Capital
With over 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline, 11,000 miles of rivers, and 7,700 lakes, Florida is also renowned as the world’s fishing and boating capital. Have it in mind that the sunshine state has also produced most world fishing records (900 in total) than any other US state or country.
Also, note that out of over 700 freshwater springs in Florida, 27 are first-magnitude springs. The state is home to Cedar Key, a fishing village known for having the country’s best clam chowder. It also hosts the Indian River Lagoon, the most biologically-diverse estuary in North America.
Florida is World’s Theme Park Epicenter
Since it is home to family entertainment giants such as Busch Gardens, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Universal, and Disney, Florida is the theme park epicenter and will always draw in the leisure-seeking crowd. At the state’s center lies Orlando, a city that draws in more visitors every year than any other amusement/theme park destination.