Silver operates a fleet of 34-seat Saab 340B Plus turboprop aircraft. The company announced this spring that it planned to launch the new Key West service, initially offering promotional fares of up to 50 percent off to help entice travelers to fly the route.
On Thursday, Silver’s website listed one-way flights from PBIA to Key West for as low as $89, depending on the departure date.
The company also plans to offer one-stop service between Palm Beach International and Tallahassee.
“The addition of non-stop service to Key West and same plane Tallahassee service gives our passengers the ease and convenience of PBI and great, new destinations. We are excited to expand our partnership with Silver Airways and happy to offer more options for our travelers,” said Bruce Pelly, director of Airports for Palm Beach County.
Silver Airways also operates daily service from PBIA to Tampa and the Bahamas: Bimini, Nassau and Marsh Harbour.
Traffic at Palm Beach International surged on Monday, with more than 700 aircraft carrying New Year’s travelers taking off or landing at the airport.
In an email to Palm Beach County commissioners on Tuesday, Airports Director Bruce Pelly warned that the increased traffic could result in a spike in noise complaints from residents living in the airport’s flight path.
“If your office has received complaints regarding noise or flight path, yesterday’s traffic was very heavy resulting in fanning north and south,” Pelly wrote to commissioners.
There were 710 airplanes that either took off from or landed at PBIA on Monday (Jan. 2), Pelly said. Just over 500 of those flights occurred between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., he added.
On a typical day, the airport handles between 350 to 390 flights, with roughly 270 occurring between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Pelly said.
The airport handles both commercial jets and private general aviation airplanes.
“The Spring Break season lasts for a number of weeks, and customers are always looking for great deals to warm weather getaways,” said Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s senior vice president – commercial. “With this new service, even more travelers will get to experience Low Fares Done Right to many popular Spring Break destinations in Sunny Florida or the Historic Northeast.”
As part of its announcement, Frontier said it plans to offer more than 50 daily departures this spring from throughout the United States to eight Florida destinations including Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando, Punta Gorda, Tampa and West Palm Beach.
The plaza is aimed at making the cellphone-waiting area more enticing. In addition to parking space for waiting cars, the travel plaza will also have a gas station, convenience store and Dunkin Donuts with a drive-thru.
The project, which is expected to open earlier this year, has been delayed because of permitting issues.
The convenience store building will offer wireless Internet for those waiting on passengers and real-time flight information boards similar to those displayed inside PBIA’s main terminal.
Once the plaza opens, the airport’s existing cell phone waiting lot will be closed. Airport officials plan to eventually lease out the property where the cell phone waiting lot currently sits.
The plaza will have access off Belvedere Road, access to the airport roads leading to the terminal and to PBIA’s direct-connect ramps to and from Interstate 95.
More than 103 million Americans will trek more than 50 miles from their home this year, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year and the largest number of travelers since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2001, the auto lobbying group said.
Driving remains the most popular mode of travel. More than 93 million people will go by car this holiday, AAA said.
Nationally, 6 million Americans will travel by air this season, an increase of 2.5 percent over last year.
Compared to last year, airfare prices are $30 higher on average, the auto group said. Hotel rates are also up slightly, the group added.
Orlando is expected to be one of the top 5 travel destinations in the country, according to AAA. The central Florida city ranked second on the list, falling behind Las Vegas, another popular warm weather getaway.
The awards honored travelers’ 5 favorite large domestic airports and 5 favorite medium domestic airports based on their size classification by the Federal Aviation Administration.
PBIA took the 4th spot in the medium airport list, falling behind Indianapolis International Airport, John Wayne Airport Orange County Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport. Albuquerque International Sunport took the 5th spot.
PBIA was also recognized for its 8-hole putting green on the second floor of the main terminal.
Silver currently offers nonstop service from PBIA to Tampa and Marsh Harbour (Abacos).
“Silver Airways is an integral part of travel from PBI to the Bahamas,” said Bruce Pelly, Director of Airports for Palm Beach County. “We are very excited to offer our travelers the opportunity to fly Silver Airways nonstop to Nassau, Bahamas from PBI.”
Silver Airways said it is offering introductory fares for the new flights, including $79 one-way tickets from Palm Beach to Nassau. The promotion runs through Feb. 29 and is good for travel between June 1 and July 29.
“We are looking forward to continuing our commitment to serving travelers by growing our core markets in Florida and the Bahamas,” said Silver Airways President and CEO Sami Teittinen. “We are also excited about Silver’s future continued expansion as we anticipate the U.S. and Cuba governments signing the bilateral agreement, which will open additional opportunities for scheduled service in the Caribbean and Cuba.”