The global health crisis was particularly hard on the travel industry.
And although domestic air travel is picking back up again, many international destinations — particularly those that normally have flights to Orlando — are still not allowing flights into and out of their countries.
However, the future of international travel to and from Orlando is beginning to look bright again, at least according to Vicki Jaramillo, the director of marketing and air service at Orlando International Airport. According to the Orlando Business Journal, almost 275,000 international passengers have come through the airport as of April 2021 (down over 80% for the same month last year).
Non-stop international flights are currently available from Orlando to Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Panama, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Canada, with others set to start within the next year, subject to government approval.
For airlines that have not yet returned to flying into and out of Orlando, Jaramillo said, “We are reaching out to British Airway, Virgin, and more to give them a dashboard of what’s going on in Central Florida.”
There are also ongoing discussions between the U.S. and the U.K. to resume travel between the two countries soon. Aer Lingus recently announced it would start offering direct flights from Manchester to Orlando (as well as other U.S. cities) as of July 29th. Similar conversations are in the works between the U.S. and other countries, too, including Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
However, Jaramillo said that getting Orlando International Airport back to where it was pre-pandemic would involve a great deal of work. “You can’t just turn on the switch,” she said. “You have to have time to train, sell and promote.”
As always, we’re keeping an eye on the state of travel to and from Orlando, so stay tuned for more news and updates. And if you’re an international Disney World fan, be sure to keep an eye out for that info!
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When do you think international travel might pick up at Orlando Airport? Let us know in the comments!