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From a historical perspective, Fort Lauderdale was a low-cost option to MIA with mainly inland links and a smaller infrastructure, while MIA was a largely international fully serviced international aerodrome with heritage carrier services. Today these services are becoming blurred as MIA strives to gain more funding and international airlines seek to broaden their portfolios, and FLL embraces large international airlines, such as Emirates Airlines and British Airways, and further expands its home base portfolios.
On the MIA, WOW is the 106th carrier to operate from the County's own international hub - the highest number of airlines operating to a US individual hub (and more than most worldwide airports). During the next three months, until June, MIA is expected to raise the number of seats available at the terminal by 2.4 per cent to 6.5 million, according to specialist magazine Airlines Weekly in its analyses of Diio Miata.
Over the past five years, airlines operating from Fort Lauderdale have added 34 new destination airlines. Twenty three of these are international flights from an international base whose three main airlines are low-cost airlines JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines, which have mainly national flights. However, this is about to change with every carrier - and also with new airlines - that are making large national and international investment in FLL, among them the building of an international southwest terminus to accommodate more international trips.
MIA has added 43 more targets since 2012, 36 of which are international. It has a non-stop connection to Asia, is holding discussions with the Israel carrier EL AL about a connection to Tel Aviv-Miami and is implementing its own infrastructural measures to control expansion. The Miami International is by all estimates not a low cost aerodrome where you can fly.
Airline costs per person embarking an aircraft at MIA are $19.61 in 2017 versus $5.06 at FLL, depending on the area. Nevertheless, since 2009 MIA has been able to attract nine low-cost airlines, including the 9th WOW, and new international airlines such as the Irish Aer Lingus and the Dominican Wings of the Dominican Republic, in order to further expand the airport's offering.
"Each new route is a conscious effort to keep us from always being the gate to America that we will always be. However, we really want to be a truly international aerodrome - a truly international gateway," said Mr Gonzalez. This became particularly important last year, when arrival rates from Brazil, the airport's most important destination, fell sharply by 30 per cent, or 600,000 passenger movements, due to an economical slowdown in the Latin-American nation.
However, the airports still reached a visitor arrivals rate of 44.6 million, which is partly due to a 0.82 per cent increase in international travellers. No matter whether it's to add new airlines to meet travel challenge in other locations, or to take advantage of consumers' demands for budgetary choices, the extended list in Miami is likely to result in lower traveler expenses.
While Miami may be more appealing to airlines because of its global profile, it must fill its aircraft - and travelers pay attention to prices, said Henry Harteveldt, senior researcher at the Atmosphere Research Group in San Francisco. "With no other low-cost airlines operating to Miami International, air fares can be higher than elsewhere, and that presents a real hurdle for Miami International, based on a customer's route, destination and location," Harteveldt said.
One of the recently added low-cost airlines at MIA is Mexico-based Volaris. In February she started flying to Guadalajara and Mexico City because she saw from Miami a need for lower priced flights, said Volaris' CFO Holger Blankenstein. And although the request is not overpowering for example to travel with WOW to Reykjavik, there is a great need for a cheap way to get to Europe, which WOW also does, said Kaplan of Airline Weekly.
"This puts squeeze on the airlines in the market," Kaplan said. Over the past five years, airlines operating out of Miami have added 43 new targets. The American Airlines, which incorporates meal and abandoned bag in its international fare, may not be forced to comply with WOW, whose no-frills fare does not incorporate bag or other convenience, "penny for penny," Kaplan said.
The Fort Lauderdale airfield is focused on being a low-cost option to Miami, with the number of low-cost airlines increasing since the 90s. FLL's Mark Gale, FLL's chief executive officer and flight controller, said the FLL offers 49 of the 50 most important market segments to fly to Broward County. In the top 25, 22 targets are served by several airlines.
FLL's two largest carrier companies have undertaken to expand their routes considerably. South West is constructing a five-gate international facility to increase international traffic from Fort Lauderdale. "If you have more than one carrier [flying to the same destination], this creates a competitive environment and the characteristic outcome is low fares," Gale said.
Mr. Bob Swindell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Economic Development Alliance, said that the low-cost airlines at Fort Lauderdale give a company a competitive edge by saving 22 to 27 per cent of airline expenses for those who book corporate flights. A number of international low-cost airlines have also enhanced the FLL services, such as Norwegian Airlines, which launched a Paris connection in August last year and is joining Barcelona and the Guadeloupe Islands this year.
JetBlue, Spirit and Southwest, the airport's three largest airlines, are also committed to expanding their schedules, with the largest expansion projects stemming from JetBlue and Southwest. The new five-door international hall in Terminal 1 in the southwest will open in June with the opening of a new international FLL route: Belize.
South West spokesperson Brad Hawkins said the carrier has a 50 destination schedule that FLL wants to achieve over the next five years. However, introducing more itineraries does not resolve the problem of long queues or dull establishments - and the managers of both cities know this. In order to alleviate passengers' problems over long production lanes, the TSA financed the expansion by 60 screeners during the bustling summers and the TSA has kept it ever since.
MIA was the country's first international passenger terminal to form a partnership with customs and border controls last year, allowing most of its international travellers to cross customs without a second check, usually to assist travellers in long queues with their baggage. It now has 108 screening booths, the second largest of any US airports, which are self-service terminals that allow foreign travellers to clear customs faster.
In terms of infrastructural facilities, the terminal will reopen part of Pier No. 1, which was shut down as part of the renovation project, with an extended German border for international departures this sommer. Gonzalez said MIA hoped the establishment would shorten running distances and decrease waiting and traffic jams at overcrowded international arrivals in Hall D. The airport's 10-year Central Terminal Enhancement Program (completion 2025) will continue in 2017 with improvements to Halls A, B and C. MIA is "shameless" when it comes to taking innovation away from its rivals.
The MIA reopens this summers part of Congress E with an extended German territory for international arrives. Improving FLL's infrastructures is one of the reasons why some airlines are even considering increasing their footprint there. JetBlue, for example, said in announcing upcoming services schedules for the airports that these expansions would be accompanied by an upgrade of JetBlue's Terminal 3 facility at the same time.
The Southwest Hall of Hall 1 and a modernized post-security area with new stores and dining facilities will be added to Final 1, a $300 million investment plan. Further franchises are also planned for Tower 3, as well as renovation work on the ticketing desks and luggage reclaim (and the already open connecting link with Tower 4), which will costs the new Airport 250 million dollars.
A 14-gate building with a new German inspectorate area will be finished in Terminal 4 by the end of 2018 at a cost of 450 million US dollars. Now that the $7.50 per night austerity car park at the airports has been cancelled this past Monday, instead travellers have to spend twice as much - $15 per night - in a car park opposite Terminal 1.
Travellers will have a shorter way to the airports, but will also find that there is less room available than before. "Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's expansion is very welcome, but the closure of the business car park is a poor move," Evelyn Stahl, who lives in Hallandale Beach, said to the Herald last November.
Every airport's destination schedule is headed by a great achievement, which hopefully everyone will reach at last. While Miami International has been looking for airlines located in Asia for a long time, it has been looking for Asian-based airlines since 2015, when it set up an Asia Task Force to gauge traffic demands for non-stop connections to the area. At last year's get-together, MIA found that it is the biggest recreation and businesses group among the top 20 in the US without a straight path to Asia.
This year, the taskforce will be meeting with airlines from Asia to work on a Miami itinerary. Mr. William D. Talbert, III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, who serves on the Taskforce, said the Asia Pacific services were "critical. "According to MIA Chief Executive Officer Chris Mangos, a day's trip from a big Asiatic metropolis like Shanghai will have between $70 and $100 million in Miami-Dade's economy each year.
It would also open MIA to the only regional market that it has not yet included in its multifaceted air line portfolios. Mr. Gonzalez forecasts that the terminal will not win an additional two years of business from an Asiatic company. However great Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International is, we want to keep it up to date.
Everything from the aerodrome to the airfield, all the way to the onshore operation is taken care of by the entire facility.