Traditionally, Spring Break is typically the busiest time of the year at Orlando International Airport but 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 a 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.