Roundtrip Roundup

MSY on a roll with recent air service announcements


Just as the many daffodils are popping up above ground, so too are the new air service announcements coming from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) this spring.

Since January, three different airline carriers have announced new airline services for New Orleans. These coincide with the new $1 billion replacement terminal slated to open in May.

Most recently, Sun Country Airlines added a nonstop seasonal fight from MSY to Providence, Rhode Island with flights beginning Sept. 6. The service will operate three times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Sun Country is touting one-way fares starting at $89 if tickets are purchased by April 15.

Vacation Express, a tour operator specializing in all-inclusive vacation packages, announced in March that it is adding a seasonal nonstop flight from MSY to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica as part of its six-night vacation packages. The service will run every Saturday from May 25 to June 22.

Also new from Vacation Express are seasonal weekly flights to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for four-night packages departing Thursdays from May 23 to June 27, as well as six-night packages to Punta Cana departing Fridays starting May 24 to July 26. The nonstop flights to Montego Bay and Punta Cana are scheduled with early morning departures and late afternoon returns to MSY to maximize vacation time.

Spirit Airlines, the fastest-growing airline at MSY, added multiple services so far this year. In February, the operator began daily nonstop flights from MSY to Denver International Airport, as well as daily nonstop flights to Austin, Texas. Starting in May, Spirit will add nonstop seasonal service from MSY to Philadelphia International Airport four times per week, as well as daily nonstop flights to Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

"New Orleans’ popularity as a destination for both fun and business has contributed to Spirit’s growth here over the last five years,” said Mark Kopczak, Spirit’s vice president of network planning, in a press release. "In 2014, Spirit flew to New Orleans from one city with one daily flight, and with this new service, Spirit is expanding to serve nearly 20 cities nonstop with an average of 17 flights per day.”

Kevin Dolliole, director of aviation for the New Orleans Aviation Board, said in a press release, "Spirit has been an outstanding partner to MSY, and we are grateful to see them continuing to bring ultra-low fares to the New Orleans market.”

These new services come on the heels of MSY’s record-breaking year in 2018. The airport reported it served an all-time high 13.1 million total passengers last year, marking a 9.3 percent increase over 2017. It was the fourth consecutive year the airport broke is passenger total record, as well as the eighth consecutive year for passenger growth. MSY said passenger totals have increased 60 percent since 2010.

"The record-breaking number of passengers moving through our airport is a testament to the strength of New Orleans’ economy,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a press release. "The new terminal complex opening in May will help us support and sustain this phenomenal growth.”

All of this positive growth for the airport is a good thing for our region, bringing jobs and tax revenue. I just hope the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development can fast track a flyover ramp from I-10 because I am not looking forward to the traffic congestion that’s sure to come on the highway and Loyola Drive in May.



Categories: Aviation/Travel, Tourism Biz