|MIA number one in int’l flights|
|Friday, 04 May 2012 10:13|
The Miami International Airport (MIA) has overtaken New York's JFK airport as the U.S. airport with the most international flights.
In the first quarter of this year, MIA created a new record by serving 10.2 million passengers, an increase of 9.5 percent over the same time period for 2011. The increase included an 11 percent increase in international passengers and 8.1 percent in domestic passengers.
The increase in international flights to Miami suggests a promising forecast for the region's stature as a business and tourism destination. Miami's location as the southeastern sea and airport entrance into the U.S. has made it a strategic spot for flights entering the country from around the world. Several international flights stop at MIA in transit to other U.S. airports.
This year's recent record growth in flight and passenger traffic has been due significantly to the addition of new routes to the airport's operations
These new routes include a LAN Colombia service between Miami and Bogotá with four weekly non-stop flights; Interjet's daily non-stop service between Miami and Mexico City; American Airlines' five weekly flights to Barcelona, Spain and the addition of another flight to Kingston, Jamaica. Plans are also on stream to add new international flights in and out of MIA. These include a new service by Dutch Antilles Express from Curacao, and additional American Airlines flights to several Brazilian destinations.
Despite this expansion however, many South Florida businesses are demanding more airline services. South Africa has become an important target market for South Florida's public and private sector, but South Florida travelers still have to go through New York to access that country. And Miami-based Caribbean-American business owners traveling frequently to the Caribbean must divert to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL), which poses an inconvenience for many.
The Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport has also seen an increase in passengers, including international travelers, in recent years.
In 2011, the airport processed 23.3 million passengers (a 4.2 percent increase over 2010) including 3.6 million international passengers (a 4.7 percent increase over 2010). In 2010, FLL showed significant growth in traffic. That year the facility far surpassed its 2007/2008 levels by over 700 thousand passengers, regaining its status as one the fastest-growing airports in the U.S.