Mainers traveling out of Portland International Jetport can soon catch flights to New York’s 11th largest city aboard a Maine-based airline.
Elite Airways will offer flights to White Plains four days a week starting July 1, according to Zachary R. Sundquist, the airport’s assistant director.
Once in White Plains air travelers can catch connecting flights with Elite to Sarasota on Sundays and Thursdays and Orlando on Mondays and Fridays, Sundquist said Monday. Travelers can also get direct flights aboard Elite to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket out of White Plains.
“Today’s announcement that Elite Airways is expanding service with nonstop flights to White Plains New York and twice-weekly options to Sarasota-Bradenton and Orlando-Melbourne in Florida is great news for our market,” said Paul Bradbury, the jetport’s director. “New York and Florida continue to be among our top requested destinations and the new Elite service should be very well received as leisure travel continues trending upward.”
It’s 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.
Southwest Airlines is expanding its weekend flights to Chicago’s Midway International Airport, with once daily flights coming to and from Portland, starting June 6. United Airlines is adding direct flights to six cities in June and upgraded weekend service to Denver in May. American Airlines is adding nonstop flights to Miami starting 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.