New Route of the Day – Americas (23 January 2024): Flair between Orlando SFB and Saint John
Flair introduced seasonal winter flights between Orlando SFB and Saint John on Tuesday January 23. The 2,280-kilometre cross-border service will be maintained weekly with the 189-seat 737-800 aircraft until 30 April. The LCC faces no competition between the two cities. The airline’s new service originates from the US since it has introduced a further two new routes from Canada to Orlando SFB, enabling it to use the same aircraft between the city-pairs.
Flight F82991 departs Orlando SFB at 07:00 local time, touching down in Saint John at 11:35 local time. The return service, operating as flight F82990, takes off from the Canadian airport in New Brunswick at 12:20 local time, touching back down in Florida at 15:40 local time.
What they said
Eric Tanner, Vice President of Revenue Management and Network Planning at Flair, said: “I think there’s been no flight that has booked better in the first week. It is also the first sunshine destination flight out of the Saint John Airport in at least several years. New Brunswick generally has been underserved by the existing airline offerings for far too long, particularly in the wintertime, where a lot of the seasonal service dries up and there really aren’t that many options to warm weather. One of the most important things is that the aircraft is starting its day in Orlando, so rather than having to deal with a morning de-icing in Toronto or some other place that you can know can set the line of flying back by multiple hours with delays, you’re starting in sunny Orlando.”
Saint John targets 200,000 passengers
Saint John Airport (not to be confused with St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador), is located in eastern Canada on the country’s Atlantic coast. The airport anticipates handling 200,000 passengers in 2024, after closing 2023 with 175,000 travellers. This is still well below pre-pandemic records of 281,000 passengers.
Saint John is currently served by Air Canada from Montreal and Toronto YYZ, as well as Flair from Toronto YYZ, along with its new Orlando SFB service. Prior to the pandemic, Porter Airlines maintained flights from Ottawa, while Air Canada offered services from Halifax, in addition to Toronto and Montreal.
The airport asserts that the slow rate of recovery is not down to demand but rather to airlines grappling with shortages in their fleets. Furthermore, all of New Brunswick’s airports are in close proximity to one another. Along with Saint John, they encompass Greater Moncton and Fredericton.