Breeze Airways Flight 2725 to Fort Myers, Florida, taxis to a runway at the Portland International Jetport on Monday. The jetport is anticipating a 17% jump in passenger numbers this summer, driven largely by expanding services offered by Breeze and Frontier Airlines. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Portland International Jetport is anticipating a possible 17% jump in passenger numbers this summer, driven largely by expanded services provided by Breeze, Frontier and other airlines.

Breeze Airways has added direct service from Portland to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida, starting May 24; and to Westchester County-White Plains, New York, starting June 20.

Frontier Airlines has added nonstop service from Portland to Cincinnati starting May 21, and American Airlines has added nonstop service to New York’s LaGuardia Airport starting June 5.

Other airlines are adding flights to existing destinations or putting larger planes with more seats on popular routes, especially during the upcoming summer tourist season, said Zachary Sundquist, assistant airport director.

Expanded offerings have pushed the capacity for potential passengers flying in and out of Maine’s largest airport to about 2 million available seats from May through October, Sundquist said. That’s up nearly 17% from 1.7 million available seats during the same period last year.

“We’re looking forward to our busiest summer travel season ever,” Sundquist said Monday.


Increasing airline capacity has paid off for the jetport in the last few years, with annual inbound-outbound passenger totals rebounding to a pre-pandemic 2.2 million in 2023 after slumping to 792,571 in 2020.

Sundquist said the jetport will be able to handle another increase this summer, processing passengers through security in a timely fashion and encouraging flight coordination among the eight airlines flying out of Portland. Still, he said, passengers should arrive 90 minutes before scheduled departures to avoid delays.

Airlines such as Breeze and Frontier tend to target secondary markets where there’s less competition and unmet demand, Sundquist said.

That’s the case with Breeze flights out of Westchester County Airport, just north of New York City, which is offering 1 hour, 15 minute flights to the jetport for $49. Compared to a 4 ¼-hour drive, the White Plains-to-Portland flights are expected to draw New Yorkers heading to summer homes or weekend getaways in Maine, Sundquist said.

“We’re lucky to have such a strong, high-demand market,” he said. “Many airlines want to have Portland as a dot on their destinations map.”

Breeze is tapping Portland for outbound passengers year round as well, company spokesman Gareth Edmondson-Jones said.


“Portland is one of those rare places that is a really strong draw in the summer and a really strong origin in the winter,” Edmondson-Jones said. For passengers flying into White Plains, Manhattan is a 40-minute ride on commuter rail.

Breeze now offers 10 destinations from Portland, after starting last spring with flights to Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia,; and Pittsburgh, he said, and more likely will be added soon.

A woman navigates the TSA security checkpoint at the Portland International Jetport on Monday. The jetport is anticipating a 17% jump in passenger numbers this summer. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

“Portland has been doing incredibly well,” Edmondson-Jones said. “We’re looking at all options from Portland in the future.”

To keep up with growing demand, the jetport is undergoing and planning a wide variety of major upgrades, including reconstruction of Taxiway A, which began last week. The primary east-west runway will be closed to nighttime air traffic through the summer, when flights between 10:30 p.m. and 5:45 a.m. will use the north-south runway.

Jetport officials also are developing an $8 million proposal to expand long-term surface parking at the airport that has drawn opposition from residents in the Stroudwater neighborhood who are concerned about various environmental impacts.

The jetport also has been awarded $10.4 million from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to install new passenger boarding bridges and a new concourse with public restrooms, adult changing spaces and a pet relief area.

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