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Miami International Airport has new flights to Europe plus a new destination in Mexico

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German low-cost airline Condor Airlines will start non-stop flights between Frankfurt and Miami beginning next Tuesday, another sign of Miami International Airport’s growing appeal as a global hub.

The carrier moved up the start date from May, its original launch when it first announced the flights last year. The change suggests it is betting on a robust summer, looking to ferry as many Miami residents to Europe as it can. Since the Covid-19 pandemic ended, Americans have been flocking to Europe in record numbers.

Condor has also expanded from originally planned seasonal service, or flights only through the summer, to year-round, an indication that it is also betting on Miami as a destination for Europeans, an airlines spokesperson told the Herald on Thursday.

Condor will operate three flights a week on its new Airbus A330neo which seats 310 passengers. This will be the company’s first service between Miami and Frankfurt. The carrier called the debut from Miami “one of our most significant milestones in the company’s 65-year-history” in a statement. From Frankfurt, passengers will be able to connect to more than 100 cities in Europe.

Passengers can choose from a range of three classes of seats. The A330neo will feature what the company calls “a spacious, whisper quiet cabin,” throughout the airplane where ostensibly fliers can expect silence. In business class, every seat will have direct to aisle access and can convert into a flat bed. All passengers will have access to touchscreen and remote-control entertainment via flat screens at each seat.

Senior management from Condor will attend an inaugural event at MIA at Terminal E, Door 11 at 6:30pm next Tuesday.

New flights and record growth

The new flights come as Miami International Airport set a new record in traffic last year with 52.3 million passengers. That was a 3.2% increase over the 2022 figure of 50.7 million people, which until now was an all-time high, according to the airport.

The growth was driven entirely by international passengers, which jumped by 8.5% to 23.2 million. Domestic travel at the Miami airport in 2023 was 29.1 million, down by 0.5% from the prior year.

MIA’s popularity has come with growing pains. Complaints about the state of the Miami airport have gotten so bad that Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava recently held a news conference there about the issues. Passengers have complained about broken elevators and escalators. Last September, Skytrain shut down. The system, which provides an alternative to long walks in Concourse D, American Airlines’ home, is not expected to be up and running until spring.

Yet, this does not seem to stop carriers. Low-cost airline LEVEL will start service between Miami and Barcelona beginning March 31. The company will initially offer three weekly flights and add a fourth one in September.

But the Old Continent is not the only destination drawing more tourists. Also, next week, on March 28, American Airlines will start daily service between Miami and Tulúm, Mexico.

Last year, 1.6 million passengers got off at MIA coming from Mexico, which is the airport’s third largest international market behind Colombia and the Dominican Republic. It’s a slight drop from 2022, when Mexico ranked as MIA’s second largest international market.

American Airlines will hold an event at MIA next Thursday to mark the launch.

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