JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you visit South Florida often, you'll be glad to know that despite the fact Southwest Airlines plans to cancel services between Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale, there is a way to fly out.
Silver Airways is continuing to expand its intra-Florida footprint and bringing more travel into Jacksonville International Airport.
Silver Airways took off with new services Tuesday, adding direct flights between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale.
"Another carrier announced they were leaving the route, on top of demand we see at our Tampa service and through customer comments," said Jamie Kogutek of Silver Airways.
Southwest Airlines is the one that cut off services. But Silver Airways has no problem adding the service because it further establishes it as the leader in intra-Florida flights.
It will have three daily flights, and might increase from there.
Michael Stewart, director of external affairs for Jacksonville Aviation Authority, said because major airlines are pulling out or switching to seasonal schedules, JAA is working on filling the holes left behind.
"Intrastate travel has been a challenge because most of the legacy carriers using large jets have not been profitable with fuel prices going up and demand being flat," Stewart said.
Silver Airways offers refundable flights, and right now there is a special offer for flights starting at $59. In addition, it is also restoring a third flight between Jacksonville and Tampa.
The airport said this is just a small part of what it hopes to roll out this year.
"We are looking at some destinations further west in the U.S. you could get to out of Jacksonville," Stewart said.
In addition to linking northeast and South Florida, the new service will enhance connection opportunities for travelers to the Bahamas and Key West, as well as more than a dozen additional destinations outside of Florida.