Face masks may still be in play, but this summer and fall, air travel is back. For those for feel cooped up and in need of a vacation, CVG has it covered.
The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has been busy the past months with several announcements of new passenger carriers and nonstop destinations. Many flights that were halted due to the pandemic will also make their return.
In 2020, CVG only saw 40% of its pre-pandemic 2019 passenger traffic, but they are already looking to begin their post-pandemic comeback.
In a May episode of our That’s So Cincinnati podcast, CVG CEO Candace McGraw said they expect to reach as high as 80% of their pre-pandemic passenger volume.
In June, the airport reached 79% of its 2019 levels, and July is expected to rise to 81%, said Mindy Kershner, CVG spokesperson.
Eager leisure travelers are responsible for much of that quick return. Corporate travel, on the other hand, may be slower to recover. Once that sector picks up, McGraw told the Enquirer that even more carriers will resume their pre-pandemic flights.
Check out the recent additions, from Key West to Minneapolis, that bring CVG’s offerings to a total of 12 carriers and 50 nonstop destinations.
Nonstop flights to Toronto are scheduled to restart on September 7 via Air Canada. This development is subject to change, though, depending on demand and any international travel restrictions, Kershner said.
Alaska Air is one of two new carriers coming to Cincinnati. Although the nonstop daily service to Seattle was supposed to begin pre-pandemic, it launched in May 2021.
Allegiant Air’s new, biweekly nonstop flight to Key West, Florida started June 9 at CVG. The fares for the Wednesday and Saturday flights can be as low as $59, although availability is not guaranteed.
There are several updated flight opportunities in store for American Airlines travelers this summer and fall. First, the carrier’s nonstop daily flights to Phoenix will relaunch on August 18. Second, twice-daily non-stop flights to Austin are set to begin September 9. Lastly, in April, American Airlines announced a thrice-daily nonstop service to Boston, starting November 2.
Bonjour et bienvenue à Paris! On September 8, Delta Airlines’ nonstop daily flight to Paris is scheduled to resume, Kershner said. As with Toronto, the restart date is not set in stone. McGraw also hinted that pre-pandemic talks about a new international carrier coming to Cincinnati may be resuming a May episode of That’s So Cincinnati. You heard it here first!
Florida vacationers are in luck — on June 12, Southwest is adding Saturday flights to Sarasota and Fort Myers, Florida. In addition, the airline is upping weekly Orlando flights from seven to eight and adding another Saturday Tampa flight.
Sun Country Airlines
As of May 14, Sun Country Airlines became CVG’s 12th passenger carrier, with nonstop flights to Minneapolis running on Fridays and Saturdays. The discount carrier, known for one-way fares as low as $39, has a cargo partnership with Amazon, which McGraw said would “benefit both the local traveler and our regional economy.”
Four East Coast destinations hit the CVG airport in late May—Portland, Maine; Charleston, South Carolina; Hilton Head, South Carolina; and Pensacola, Florida. There are nonstop flights to each airport three days a week—Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for Pensacola and Charleston; Monday, Thursday and Saturday for Portland and Hilton Head.
Many of CVG’s international flights have returned through Vacation Express and Frontier airlines. Flyers can visit destinations like Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Cancun and Los Cabos, Mexico from Cincinnati, no problema.
Before you take off
CVG requires summer travelers to maintain a social distance and mask up. For more information, read CVG’s blog on what to know before flying this summer.