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180 Weekly Flights: Exploring The Huge Atlanta-Orlando Market


  • Orlando is Atlanta’s number-one destination, with 180 departing flights this week.
  • Delta, Southwest, Frontier, and Spirit all operate with a myriad of equipment.
  • In June, two-thirds of Delta’s Orlando passengers transferred in Atlanta.

Not only are there more flights from Atlanta to Orlando than anywhere else, but there are also four carriers, although that’s not quite the highest number from the Georgian airport. The increasingly less popular – but always highly characterful – Boeing 757 remains the most-used equipment. And despite being so short in distance, Atlanta-Orlando ranks as the country’s fifth airport pair by the number of widebodies this week. Atlanta is second country-wide for the number of show-haul widebody flights.

Atlanta to Orlando: a summary

This article was written on October 15th. In the next seven days, the 404-mile (650 km) market will have 180 departing flights (double for both ways), based on Cirium data – 24 to 27 daily. Over 35,000 seats are for sale to Orlando this week (each way), slightly more than in 2019 due to higher gauge aircraft. Higher gauge aircraft have pushed seats per flight up by about 5%, from 186 to 195.

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Frontier Airlines Airbus A321

Photo: Airbus

Delta has 98 of the 180 departures, followed by Southwest (35), Frontier (26), and Spirit (21). Multiple equipment is used. The Boeing 757-200 and -300 have 76 flights, followed by the 767-300 (20), A320neo (19), 737-700 (19), A320ceo (11), A319 (nine), 737 MAX 8 (nine), A321ceo (seven), 737-800 (seven), A330-300 (twice), and A321neo (just one flight).

A look back to June

Examining US DOT T-100 data for June (the latest available to me) shows that 250,017 passengers flew between Atlanta and Orlando, more than 8,300 each day. With 287,262 seats for sale, the average seat load factor was about 87%. This varied widely by airline. Delta had 90%, Frontier 86%, Spirit 83%, and Southwest just 78%.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 N961WN

Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

Just a third of Delta’s passengers were local; they only flew between the two airports. Two-thirds transited to other flights over Atlanta, the world’s busiest airport. Almost one in two Southwest’s passengers were local, rising to 64% for Frontier and 70% for Spirit. ULCCs always revolve more greatly around local markets.

Where did Delta passengers go?

Using booking data to delve deeper into June 2023 shows where Delta’s transit passengers went. More than 110,000 passengers connected over the world’s busiest airport, with around 86% getting on other domestic flights. The top 10 origins and destinations are shown below.

Delta's top 10 Orlando Atlanta ODs

Image: GCMap

Despite various daily non-stop flights by Southwest, Frontier, and Spirit, Delta carried more passengers between San Antonio and Orlando than anywhere else.

Flying via Atlanta added about 23% more miles than a non-stop flight but with multiple departure times each day to choose from, as befits a huge hub with many waves of flights. It provides huge competitive strength. Frequent flyer program points would also have been influential.

What do you make of it all? Let us know in the comments.

Sources of information: US DOT T-100, booking data, Cirium, OAG, Google Flights


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