Longboat Key, Florida | November 27th, 2018 – The coming peak season may turn out to be one of the best opportunities for real estate sellers to engage the market. Our Sarasota‒Manatee region can expect more visitors to come in, with more flights added recently at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ).
In April this year, Allegiant Air became the eighth airline operating in and out of SRQ. This budget airline based in Las Vegas began offering in that month direct flights to SRQ from the cities of Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati.
Nine More Set
Allegiant followed up on these with an announcement this November that it is introducing nine new routes to SRQ in 2019. These include twice-weekly nonstop flights starting February to Asheville, Baltimore, and North Carolina.
Later in April, Allegiant will offer the same nonstop-flight services twice each week to Cleveland and Columbus in Ohio; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Syracuse, New York; Richmond, Virginia; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Nashville, Tennessee. These nine routes alone, according to the airline, are expected to bring an additional 160,000 passengers to SRQ next year.
Other Carriers Step Upward
Since Allegiant’s April expansion into the Sarasota-Bradenton airport, other airlines have either launched new flights service or expanded their SRQ operations. Another low-cost carrier, Frontier Airlines has set its SRQ debut and will start in December its nonstop flights to Atlanta, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.
SRQ mainstay carrier American airlines, meanwhile, is adding three destinations: Dallas and Chicago in December, and Philadelphia in January next year. Delta too is offering seasonal SRQ flights to New York, Detroit, and Boston, while United is beefing up its services to Newark, New Jersey. All told, the eight carriers of the airport now connect SRQ to a total of 26 cities.
Record Highs on the Radar
The growth momentum indeed is on SRQ’s side with the recent spate of airline entries and service expansions, which has more than recovered from the 2012 departure of AirTran, formerly the airport’s second-largest airline. Airport officials now expect passenger arrivals to hit record highs.
Significantly, passenger traffic has been rising at double-digits monthly since May in spite of the challenges of red tide on our side of the Gulf Coast. From January to October, SRQ statistics show overall passenger traffic 12.5 percent ahead of the same period last year. At this pace, the airport is on pace to handle up to 1.4 million passengers this year compared with 1.1 million in 2017. SRQ officials estimate that these figures could rise to between 1.7 million and 1.8 million in 2019 and eventually breach the record 2 million mark by 2020.
The recent hefty gains in SRQ traffic and the entry of Allegiant and Frontier are the result of some generous incentives the airport offered to carriers as well as the support of the region’s tourism bodies. SRQ, for instance, is providing Allegiant more than $1 million marketing support next year to promote the carrier’s new service to the nine cities. Additional marketing dollars half of that amount is also being extended by the agencies Visit Sarasota County and the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
A new wave of interest on available real estate properties in Sarasota and Manatee counties could be among the positive results of increased visitors passing through SRQ. Call or e-mail our Judy Kepecz-Hays team if you’re selling a residence, so we can plot a marketing strategy that can bring in the top dollars on your sale.