American Airlines will inaugurate daily nonstop service from San Antonio to Miami beginning March 5, the third time in less than 45 days that new nonstop flights to and from San Antonio International Airport have been announced by the City.
“I am pleased to announce that the City of San Antonio will have new air service to Miami and New Orleans and additional service to Los Angeles,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley announced at City Council on Thursday. “American Airlines will initiate nonstop service to Miami on March 5. As you may remember from the Aviation Department budget presentation, Miami was one of our top priority destinations for San Antonio International.”
Miami also was a top destination, after Boston Logan and Washington National, cited by readers in a Rivard Report survey conducted in September. Daily nonstop service to Miami will give San Antonio travelers a direct connection to South Florida, and the nation’s major gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America. Sculley said the new flight would depart San Antonio at 6:10 a.m. and return at 9:58 p.m.
“We are very excited to announce these new routes, which will give our customers more travel options to and from Miami and better opportunities to connect to our vast network in Latin America,” stated Marilyn DeVoe, American Airline’s Vice President in a press release. “As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Miami hub, these new routes further underscore Miami’s importance and our commitment to its growth.”
City officials have made expanded nonstop service and added destinations a priority in 2014, and airlines seem increasingly convinced the passenger count justifies expanded nonstop service. Businesses and individuals alike have been frustrated for years by the added time and expense of having to connect to flights through Dallas and Houston.
“These nonstop flights really help tourism in our city,” said District 10 City Councilmember Mike Gallagher. “There are plenty of times we have lost opportunities because it was difficult to get here.”
The City announced new daily nonstop service by Southwest Airlines to New Orleans in late August. Southwest will offer nonstop service during Thanksgiving Week, on Saturdays starting in March, and daily service beginning April 7.
City officials announced expanded daily nonstop service between San Antonio and Los Angeles in September. American Airlines started its daily nonstop service on Oct. 2, operating as U.S. Airways Express, and Delta Airlines has announced it will follow with its own daily service starting April 7. Southwest and United already operate daily nonstop flights from here to Los Angeles.
Sculley told City Council that Aviation Director Frank Miller and his staff would be meeting with Mexican airline officials in November to explore “increasing seat capacity and promoting air service to additional destinations.”
Travelers currently can fly nonstop from San Antonio to four Mexican cities: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Toluca outside Mexico City. VivaAerobus, a Nuevo Leon low-cost air carrier, will re-enter the San Antonio market in November with four weekly nonstop flights to Monterrey, adding to nonstop flights already offered by AeroMexico and Interjet, a Mexico City-based low-cost air carrier that describes itself as “the Jet Blue of Mexico.”
From January through the end of August, nearly 300,000 people flew on international flights in and out of San Antonio, with an average of 50 flights weekly to Mexico. During that same time period, 5.6 million passengers flew on domestic flights in and out of San Antonio.
*Featured/top image: Aerial view of San Antonio International Airport. Courtesy photo.