By Tina Kinsey, Director of Marketing, PR & Air Service Development
Air travel today is different than it was a few years ago. Namely, airlines no longer fly empty planes, and they are flying more routes seasonally, especially from regional airports.
What is a seasonal route? A seasonal route happens when an airline flies non-stop to a specific city, but only during peak travel months. During slower travel months, that flight is suspended and the airline’s asset (their airplane) is dedicated to a busier travel route, perhaps in another market. It’s all about success for the airlines – they are focused now more than ever on ensuring that every flight and route is profitable.
Several seasonal routes are offered at Asheville Regional Airport. Delta operates a daily non-stop to New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport during the summer months. United flies a daily non-stop to New Jersey’s Newark International Airport summer through fall. And Delta’s non-stop to Detroit flies almost yearly, but is suspended in winter.
Seasonality in air travel appears more in markets with strong leisure travel numbers, and in popular leisure destinations with heavier air travel in peak leisure months. Asheville Regional Airport’s traveler mix is 50 percent leisure.
It is great to be able to hop on a non-stop to a popular destination, even if that option is available part-time during the year. It is also good news that travelers have excellent connectivity year round from Asheville to hundreds of domestic and international destinations. Asheville Regional Airport offers flights throughout each day to major hubs of Atlanta, Charlotte and Chicago, and most destinations are accessible with one easy connection.
Remember: the more you fly from AVL, the more stable our air service offerings will continue to be. The numbers are important to the airlines, and strong utilization yields more seats and routes in our market. Thanks for checking Asheville first for your air travel!