New Route of the Day – Americas (30 January 2024): Breeze between Orlando MCO and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Breeze chose the closing days of January to commence a new service between Orlando MCO and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, in northeast Pennsylvania. Commencing on Tuesday 30 January, the new 1,520-kilometre route will be maintained 2-weekly, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with the 137-seat A220-300 aircraft. The LCC faces no competition.
What they said
Blake Haag, Director of Schedule Planning at Breeze, said: “Hopefully this is going meet up the pent-up demand that’s been up here in northeastern Pennsylvania for non-stop flights into Florida for vacation goers or if you’ve got family in the Florida area, it should be great for everybody. If these flights fill in and do well, then I think that’s only just the beginning. Part of our business model is having affordable options. So, you will always find a reasonable fair to get down to Florida.”
Carl Beardsley, Executive Director at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport, added: “This is great news today. Orlando is one of our top destinations, and we are excited that Breeze will provide our area’s families and businesses with convenient, nonstop service to Orlando. Certainly, the community likes to go to places in Florida and Orlando is always that number one choice for the people in this local area. To have Breeze come in and to fill that need, I think it’s going to be phenomenal here at our airport.”
Breeze becomes third carrier to serve Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport handled 384,371 passengers in 2022 according to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This is a far cry from the over 590,000 travellers welcomed during the pre-pandemic 2019.
Breeze becomes the third carrier to serve Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, joining American and United. American maintains operations from the Pennsylvania airport to Charlotte and Chicago ORD, while United also runs operations to Chicago ORD, in addition to New York EWR.
Prior to the pandemic Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had a more diversified portfolio of airlines and destinations. They included Southern Airways Express with services to Pittsburgh, Delta to Atlanta and Detroit, as well as United with flights to Washington IAD and American with operations to Philadelphia.
Although statistics for 2023 have not been made public yet, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport Board confirmed numbers declined compared to 2022, the first year-on-year fall in figures since the pandemic hit.
The decline in 2023 compared to the previous year does not come as much of a surprise since American used smaller jets and offered only one daily flight to Chicago ORD instead of two, while United offered fewer flights to New York EWR.
Scranton has a population of just over 76,000 people. It is located 190 kilometres northwest of New York City.