role drives Miami International Airport's growing international
International Airport has recorded its 13th consecutive month of increases
in international passenger traffic, pushing closer to the day when
international passengers outnumber domestic fliers at the airport.
or later" that will happen, says Bruce Drum, an assistant director
of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department.
of June, the most recent month for which details are available, more
than 47% of the passenger traffic was international 1,315,529
passengers, up 5.5% from June 1999.
that hike, domestic travel was down 3.3% from a year ago to about
1.46 million passengers.
place in the world is evolving more and more every day," Mr.
Drum said. "We are a global international hub" with long-distance
flights and higher-yield routes.
Drum said hub operations at Miami International by American and United
airlines, the resurgence of Latin America and the fact that more Americans
are traveling to Europe on vacations because of the strong US economy
are combining to boost Miami International's passenger traffic abroad.
he said, domestic passenger loads are flat or declining because the
low-cost domestic carriers are centered at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood
at least 1 million of those travelers to Ft. Lauderdale wind up spending
one or more nights in Miami-Dade County each year, said Bill Talbert,
CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. He said 85%
of them are hotel visitors, and that's "what drives the hotel
tax and is the basic sign of health of the industry."
bureau, Mr. Talbert said, for almost a year has been tracking passengers
arriving in Ft. Lauderdale and has found that 12% to 21% each month
wind up in Miami-Dade, filling the gap left by declining domestic
passengers at Miami International. About 90% of those Ft. Lauderdale
arrivals who come to Miami-Dade are domestic passengers, he said.
gains in Ft. Lauderdale passengers who wind up in Miami-Dade overnight
more than offset any domestic passenger loss Miami International is
experiencing, said William Anderson Jr., convention bureau planning
and research director.
the first five months of this year, Mr. Anderson said, Ft. Lauderdale's
air traffic was up 9.2%.
two largest aviation alliances, American's One World and United's
Star Alliance, are combining to drive more international carriers
to Miami International to link with those two major carriers, Mr.
just the past year, he noted, Swissair and Turkish Airlines both established
their first operations at Miami International to link with American.
he said, more international carriers are probably on the way
including several Asian airlines. Also, he noted, Finnair now lands
at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood but has joined the One World operation
and would find it more convenient to be at Miami International.
Lingus, the Irish carrier, has also joined One World and there
is no Irish nonstop now available from Miami International, Mr. Drum
Boeing aircraft have just been announced, he said, that can stay aloft
for up to 18 hours, opening the door to nonstops from here to Japan.
future is more and more of an international hub airport," he
Talbert said he agreed. It's forecast, he said, that Miami International
will become this region's international link while Ft. Lauderdale
becomes the domestic airport for the region.
international role, Mr. Drum said, is a boon to Miami because it does
not have a large enough population to support all international services
available here. It is the existence of the hubs, he said, that makes
possible the breadth of flight schedules.
the number of flights is growing. Flight operations the number
of take-offs and landings increased at Miami International
0.1% to 41,452 in June. That's 1,381 a day, 57.5 an hour and nearly
one every minute.
cargo, said Lauren Gail Stover, associate aviation department director
for public affairs, a 10.9% climb in freight volume in June can be
traced to increased belly space on American Airlines' B777 aircraft
as well as "a significant increase in UPS operations as it consolidates
its acquisition of Challenge Air Cargo."
to 24,000 tons of domestic cargo were moved through the airport in
June, part of more than 132,000 tons processed at Miami International
in the month.
figure is 2.8% less than it was in June '99 due to a 5.3% drop in
international freight in the period, Ms. Stover says.
observers cite economic slumps in some Latin American countries as
responsible for the drop in global freight volumes through Miami.