Pensacola had record passenger traffic in 2023 and has now welcomed Breeze Airways

TAMPA BREEZE

Pensacola is situated in the Florida Panhandle, close to the Alabama border. The area is best known for its beaches (some of which are white, hence a popular nickname), naval air station and crawfish.

The airport welcomed a record 2.73 million passengers in 2023, up by a strong 13% from its previous best year (2022) and by a considerable 24% compared to the pre-pandemic 2019. The arrival of Spirit in 2021 and the big growth by Southwest were especially important in this increase. Pensacola ended last year as one of the country’s best-recovered airports.

Pensacola traffic 2008-2023

Breeze is new in 2024

28 June marked the start of Breeze in Pensacola. It has one route from Tampa with 2-weekly service on Mondays and Fridays variously on the A220-300 and E195. It competes head-to-head with ATR 42-operating Silver Airways (2-daily) on the 530-kilometre airport pair. It is the first time since 2013 that Pensacola-Tampa, about 6.5 hours by car, has had two airlines.

Tampa- Pensacola

Hub airlines continue to dominate

Eight airlines offer passenger flights to Pensacola. According to Cirium schedule data, American and Delta are the airport’s two largest operators in Q3 2024 (July-September). They have more than half of the available seats, rising to about six in ten when United is included.

Athens International Airport

Southwest has served Pensacola since 2013, Frontier since 2018 and Spirit since 2021. All three operators have grown strongly year over year. Comparing Q3 2024 data with 2023 indicates that Southwest has simply densified existing routes, while the two ULCCs have added more routes. Last year, Frontier only served Denver.

  • 8 May 2024: Spirit, Pensacola-Dallas DFW (daily; but it ends soon)
  • 21 May 2024: Frontier, Pensacola-Cincinnati (3)
  • 21 May 2024: Frontier, Pensacola-Cleveland (3)
  • 22 May 2024: Frontier, Pensacola-Philadelphia (3)

Pensacola airlines Q3 2024

Atlanta is the leading destination

Pensacola has nonstop flights to 22 destinations, all in the US, during the three summer months. The 435-kilometre hop to Atlanta remains the airport’s leading market by non-stop capacity and has nearly twice the available seats as Dallas DFW (in both and all instances, the O&D of passengers is not stated). Delta serves Atlanta 60-weekly in July.

Denver and Philadelphia stand out for capacity growth. In Q3 2023, the Colorado airport ranked 12th but is now fifth, while Philadelphia was 17th but is now 10th. Denver’s near doubling of seats is entirely due to frequency increases by Southwest. It is one of three airlines in the market, Pensacola’s only airport pair with that many operators. Meanwhile, Frontier has added Philadelphia, joining American.

Top 10 Pensacola destinations Q3 2024

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