Elite Airways will be doubling its nonstop service from Portland International Jetport to Orlando-Melbourne this winter.

Beginning Nov. 17, the twice-weekly service on Mondays and Fridays will be augmented with flights on Thursdays and Sundays, the airline said Wednesday. The additional flights represent a doubling of the operation to Orlando-Melbourne over last winter. The airline announced last week that it was adding two nonstop flights weekly from Portland to Sarasota-Bradenton, also beginning on Nov. 17.

“The Portland/Melbourne route has been a strong performer since launching last fall, and we are pleased to double the service to four-times weekly in time for holiday and winter travel,” Elite President John Pearsall said in a news release. “The success of our Northeast-to-Florida routes has been a significant factor in Elite Airways’ success and expansion, and we look forward to introducing more exciting destinations in the future.”

Orlando Melbourne International Airport is growing as the gateway to Florida, according to its executive director, Greg Donovan.

“Downeasters especially appreciate our landing approach – right over barrier islands and some of the most beautiful tropical beaches in the world,” Donovan said in the release. “Port Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World and Harry Potter are all within driving distance, but without the hassle of larger, congested airports.”

Although the airport that Elite flies to is called Orlando-Melbourne, it’s actually in Melbourne on Florida’s East Coast. Orlando, where many of the state’s tourist attractions are located, such as Walt Disney World, is about 20 miles away.

Paul Bradbury, airport director at Portland’s jetport, said the doubling of service to Orlando is good for travelers.

“This service has been very well received by our passengers and the additional capacity and additional days of service will be a big win for Mainers looking to get to the beaches of Florida this winter,” he said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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