Snowbirds looking to fly south to escape another Maine winter will have a new choice for reaching the sunny shores of Miami.
Budget-friendly Frontier Airlines will offer direct flights from Portland International Jetport to Miami on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting Nov. 1, according to Zachary R. Sundquist, the airport’s assistant director.
With that addition, Frontier will soon offer nonstop flights to nine cities out of Portland.
“We are thrilled that throughout the past year Frontier continues to grow their presence at the Jetport,” Paul Bradbury, the airport’s director, said Tuesday. “Their flights are targeting high demand destinations that are in season while providing convenient, non-stop service.”
Since 2018, Frontier has expanded its offerings out of Portland to include Denver; Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina; Philadelphia; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
This marks just the latest addition to an ever-expanding roster at the Portland airport. Airlines across the country have been preparing for a surge in pent-up demand for travel after more than a year of living under pandemic restrictions. But it’s unclear yet whether the recent resurgence in COVID-19 infections, primarily from the delta variant spreading among the large population of unvaccinated people, will hamper travel expectations in the second half of 2021.
Last month, Elite Airways began offering direct flights four days a week from Portland to White Plains, New York. Southwest Airlines expanded its weekend flights to Chicago’s Midway International Airport, with once daily flights coming to and from Portland, in June. United Airlines added direct flights to six cities in June and upgraded weekend service to Denver in May. American Airlines also added nonstop flights to Miami in June, while Delta Air Lines added daily flights to Minneapolis and St. Paul in May, up from just twice weekly.
The Portland airport is the state’s busiest. It saw record traffic in 2019, when more than 2.18 million traveled through there. But that traffic took a big hit in 2020 amid the global pandemic, with passengers traveling through the jetport falling to 792,571, the lowest than at any point in the past 15 years.
So far this year, signs point to the jetport having its busiest summer ever.