Thanks to added capacity and intense competition between airlines, travelers this summer are likely to get good deals on flights. For locals, the options abound.
The cheap flights will run at least through the busy summer travel season, when a record-breaking 246.1 million passengers will take to the skies. That's up almost 4 percent from last year, for the period ranging from June 1 to Aug. 31, according to industry trade organization Airlines for America.
Still, the cost of fuel, one of the airline industry's top expenses, has risen 44.6 percent compared to a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association, which tracks jet fuel prices. The summer's favorable prices are expected to remain in place at least to the fall, thanks to a summer increase in seat capacity. By fall, the rising cost of jet fuel may push airlines to up their fares.
So, until then, where to go?
For Miami travelers, that list, though long, changes often. Miami International Airport hosts 105 passenger and cargo airlines — the most of any U.S. airport — though that number fluctuates. The airport added several high-profile airlines in the last few years, and not all have stuck around.
If you're shopping around, here are the new routes coming to MIA and the ones you won't find on your Expedia searches anymore.
New routes and airlines
- Milan, Italy launching June 8 on Air Italy. The airline will be running four weekly, nonstop flights. It's the first time the Italian airline is offering service from MIA. It has flights from only one other U.S. destination: New York. The airport currently offers nonstop flights to Milan on American Airlines and to Rome on Alitalia. Air Italy Milan-MIA flights typically cost between about $400 and $600.
- Savannah, Georgia, launching on June 7 on American Airlines. The airline, which has a major hub in Miami, will offer daily service to Savannah — a new route for MIA. Fares range between about $150 and $400.
- Bonaire, Lesser Antilles, launching on June 9 on American Airlines. American will offer one weekly flight to Bonaire, which is a new stop for MIA travelers, on Saturdays. Flights typically cost between about $700 and $900.
- Bimini, Bahamas, which launched May 3 on Bahamasair. The route is new to MIA and is offered four times a week. Travelers can catch the 30-minute flights on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Fares run between about $120 and $140.
- Salvador, Brazil, which launched April 29 on LATAM Airlines. The airline is offering one weekly flight, on Sundays, to Salvador in east central Brazil — marking the ninth Brazilian destination available from MIA. Fares range from about $1,000 to nearly $3,000.
In December, American Airlines will add three routes new to MIA: a weekly flight to St. Vincent and the Gernadines, and flights to Pereira, Colombia and Georgetown, Guyana. And on Nov. 4, Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL, which stopped service to MIA in 2016, is returning with daily flights to Brasilia and Fortaleza in Brazil.
Airlines that have ended service
- Iceland's WOW Air. After much fanfare when it launched flights from Miami to Reykjavik and other European destinations last spring, Icelandic low-cost airline WOW pulled out of Miami in April. It was the first U.S city to which WOW has suspended service, after adding numerous flights to the country in recent years. According to MIA spokesman Greg Chin, the airline has not yet told the airport whether the break is only seasonal.
- PAWA Dominicana. The airline was also a major get for MIA when it started flying to Miami in late 2016, signaling the first time in more than two decades that a commercial Dominican airline was offering flights to the United States. Its MIA-Santo Domingo flight also served as a connector for Curacao, St. Maarten, Antigua, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Haiti and Cuba. The Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation suspended the airline's flights to multiple destinations, including Miami, in late January until it coughs up nearly $8 million in debt.
- Santa Barbara Airlines. The Venezuelan airline, owned by the same conglomerate as PAWA, Grupo Condor, also stopped flights in February because of financial troubles. In September 2017, the airline made headlines for stranding more than 70 people at MIA during Hurricane Irma when it canceled flights for four days.