The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport announced that it's adding Wilmington, Delaware, to its list of nonstop destinations.
The service, set to begin in November, was announced Thursday, eight months after the carrier, Avelo Airlines, added the route to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers and Tampa International Airport. The Wilmington Airport, under the call letters ILG, will also become the fourth base of operations for Connecticut-based Avelo, according to a statement. Wilmington is about 30 miles south of Philadelphia.
Mark Stuckey, executive vice president and chief of staff at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, says the team was excited to add a third destination to the Avelo Airlines lineup. Avelo also flies to New Haven, Connecticut, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, from SRQ.
In addition to Wilmington, SRQ announced that seasonal service to Cleveland, through Frontier Airlines, is expected to resume Dec. 21.
The airport now has 11 airlines that serve 54 nonstop destinations. It’s big growth, as just five years ago SRQ had six airlines with 12 nonstop destinations. The first five months of 2023 were up 15% in passenger traffic over the same period in 2022. The 12-month period leading through May 2023 saw 4.12 million passengers at the airport.
Stuckey says passenger traffic hasn't slowed down at SRQ over the summer, either, with traffic in July up 15%.
In response to the passenger traffic growth, SRQ has been working on a $73 million five-gate terminal expansion. The project broke ground in March and will include a new cellphone waiting lot, ground transportation pick-up area, baggage screening system and additional paved parking areas.
The new terminal is connected to the east end of the ticket wing and will add 75,300 square feet to the airport. The expansion includes a four-lane security checkpoint and five boarding hold rooms with enough room for 970 seats.