Traditionally, Spring Break is the busiest time of the year at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and last year, 2020, Spring Break was also the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Like all commercial airports, MCO experienced a dramatic drop in traffic in the spring of 2020. Spring Break traffic was off 1.8 million passengers from the previous year. Now, a year later, MCO is expecting a rebound with a predicted 45 percent increase over Spring Break 2020 or about 613,000 more passengers departing between February 28th and April 13th.
“The combination of additional flights in our market, the expanded distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and the undeniable lure of Central Florida as a getaway destination portends for robust air travel as we approach this year’s Spring Break,” says Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
“It is a much welcomed improvement over this time last year when we were at the depths of the pandemic.”
A couple of factors are also adding to the optimism, airlines have plans to add more seats to the market. If current projections remain solid, there will be more domestic airline seats available in April at MCO than there were in 2019 before the pandemic struck. Also, Hawaiian Airlines starts new, first-of-its-kind service from Orlando to Honolulu starting Saturday, March 13th.
Below is a comparison snapshot of selected Spring Break travel days. Easter Sunday, April 4th is expected to be the busiest Spring Break travel day with 55,435 departures from MCO. In total, MCO is anticipating 1.9 million departing passengers this Spring Break season.
|Sunday, March 1st 2020||81,816||Sunday, February 28th 2021||51,510|
|Wednesday, March 4th 2020||60,118||Wednesday, March 3rd 2021||28,946|
|Monday, March 9th 2020||72,012||Monday, March 8th 2021||41,399|
|Wednesday, March 18th 2020||33,638||Wednesday, March 17th 2021||41,251|
|Sunday, March 22nd 2020||18,039||Sunday, March 21st 2021||48,076|
|Tuesday, March 24th 2020||7,987||Tuesday, March 23rd 2021||42,445|
|Saturday, March 28th 2020||5,104||Saturday, March 27th 2021||43,493|
|Wednesday, April 1st 2020||3,071||Wednesday, March 31st 2021||44,180|
|Monday, April 6th 2020||2,597||Monday, April 5th 2021||55,335|
|Friday, April 10th 2020||2,352||Friday, April 9th 2021||46,984|
|Tuesday, April 14th 2020||1,712||Tuesday, April 13th 2021||51,275|
The information herein is provided as of the dates specified. Due to the outbreak and continuation of COVID-19 subsequent to the date of such information, the information contained herein may differ materially from the current operational and financial data.