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Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced the debut of new, non-stop service from Bradley International Airport to Cancun, Mexico and San Juan, Puerto Rico on Frontier Airlines.

“We’re thrilled to grow Frontier’s Hartford network with new, non-stop flights to Cancun and San Juan beginning in February 2022,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president of Commercial at Frontier Airlines. “Frontier now offers seven non-stop routes from Bradley International Airport, and we look forward to welcoming Hartford-area residents to sunny Mexico and Puerto Rico for unforgettable vacations in winter 2022 and beyond.”

The service to Cancun International Airport will commence on Feb. 17 and will operate seasonally, three times a week. The service to San Juan Airport will commence on Feb. 18 and will operate year-round, three times a week. To view flight times and booking options, visit www.flyfrontier.com.

In addition to the service to Cancun and San Juan, Frontier offers non-stop service from Bradley to Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Orlando, and Raleigh-Durham. The airline has been operating at Bradley since 2018.

“We are delighted to offer our passengers more options to travel conveniently and affordably to Cancun and San Juan,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the CAA. “Attracting new non-stop flights is a top priority, and in the competitive route-development market, we thank Frontier Airlines for their continued partnership. Since their debut at Bradley International Airport only three years ago, we’ve welcomed their impressive expansion. The addition of these new flights builds on that growth and gives an exciting boost to our route network.”

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority announced that Bradley International Airport has launched new, non-stop service to Columbus, Ohio; Norfolk, Va; and Pittsburgh with Breeze Airways. These three launches follow the airline’s recent debut at Bradley and its inaugural non-stop service to Charleston, S.C.

“We are incredibly honored to have welcomed Breeze Airways to Bradley International Airport this spring and to now have all four of its new non-stop routes officially launched,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “All four destinations are new destinations, offering affordable access and added convenience for our passenger base. I thank Breeze Airways for recognizing Bradley International Airport’s vitality in their inaugural network and look forward to strengthening our promising partnership.”

The new non-stops will operate on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday on single-class Embraer aircraft with a two-by-two seat configuration. Flights are available for booking at www.flybreeze.com.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — This week, the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) launched the inaugural JetBlue flight from Bradley International Airport (BDL) to Miami International Airport (MIA) on JetBlue.

“We welcome JetBlue’s expansion at Bradley International Airport and the addition of new, non-stop service to Miami,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “With the debut of this new route, JetBlue now offers non-stop flights to 11 destinations from Bradley International Airport. We thank JetBlue for their continued investment in our region and are confident that the new non-stop service to Miami will be quickly embraced by our passengers.”

The new, daily service to Miami operates year-round. The flight from Bradley to Miami departs 9:25 a.m. and arrives at 12:30 p.m., while the return flight takes off from Miami at 1:15 p.m. and arrives at Bradley at 4:10 p.m.

The new Miami route complements JetBlue’s existing non-stop flights to other Florida destinations, including Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. The airline also offers non-stop flights from Bradley International Airport to Cancun (Mexico), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico).

For booking information, visit www.jetblue.com.

Features

Facility Gains Altitude After Pandemic-induced Declines

The addition of new flights from carriers

The addition of new flights from carriers Breeze Airways and Sun Country Airlines is one of many signs of progress and vibrancy at Bradley International Airport.

Kevin Dillon can see a number of signs of much-needed progress at Bradley International Airport, starting with the parking garage.

Until quite recently, it was all the parking the airport needed to handle not only the passenger volume at the facility, but all the employees as well. In fact, it was far more than enough. But over the past few months, things have started changing.

“Now, most days, we’re starting to fill the parking garage, and we opened up two additional surface lots — and that’s a good sign,” said Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, adding that there are many others indicating that Bradley is gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels of vibrancy, including the restaurants and retail shops that are reopening their doors after being closed for months, new carriers introducing routes out of the airport, and, most important, climbing passenger totals.

“We’re pleased with the way the numbers are starting to roll out, although we still have a ways to go,” he said, noting that most all travel at present is leisure in nature. “At the beginning of the year, we were still down 60% compared to pre-pandemic levels; now, on any given day, we’re down 40% to 50% — it can shift any day. And it really does seem to correspond with the vaccine rollout here in the region. The more people got vaccinated, the more people started to fly. The more people start to fly, the more people see that, and they start to get a level of confidence.

“As we look toward the summer, we are expecting a very healthy summer travel period,” he went on. “What you’re starting to see in terms of some of these airline announcements and route announcements is a recognition on the part of the airlines, as well, that this recovery is well underway.”

Elaborating, he said it’s difficult to project where the airport will be by the end of the summer in terms of those passenger-volume numbers, but he believes that, if current trends continue (and most all signs point toward that eventuality), then Bradley might be down only about 25% from pre-pandemic levels — a big number, to be sure, but a vast improvement over the past 14 months.

Overall, a number of factors will determine when and to what extent Bradley fully recovers all it has lost to the pandemic, including everything from business travel to international flights.

Let’s start with the former, which, by Dillon’s estimates, accounts for roughly half the travel in and out of Bradley.

While some business travel has returned, the numbers are still way down from before the pandemic, he said, adding that the next several months could be critical when it comes to the question of when, and to what extent, business travel comes back.

He expects the numbers to start to improve once businesses set their own internal policies for when employees can return to the office and resume many of the patterns that saw wholesale changes after COVID-19 arrived in March 2020.

“If you still have people telecommuting for COVID purposes, what does that say to the employee about required business travel?” he asked, adding that there has to be a “reckoning” within the business community as to where it’s going with some of its pandemic-related policies.

“If you still have people telecommuting for COVID purposes, what does that say to the employee about required business travel?”

Dillon said there are two types of business travel. One involves businesses traveling to see customers, a tradition he expects will return once COVID-related fears subside. The other is inter-company travel, where a business sends an employee from one of its locations to a different one. It’s this kind of travel that seems most imperiled, if that’s the proper word, by teleconferencing, Zoom, and other forms of technology, and it’s this mode that will likely lag behind the other.

As for international flights, these, too, will be among the last aspects of the airport’s business to return to something approaching pre-COVID conditions, said Dillon, noting that Air Canada is severely limited by severe restrictions on travel to that country. Meanwhile, Aer Lingus, which initiated flights out of Bradley in 2016, is still ramping up after restrictions on overseas flights were lifted in the fall of 2020. Nothing has been confirmed, but he is anticipating a return of that carrier in the spring of 2022.

Meanwhile, getting back to those signs of life — and progress — that Dillon noted, some new additions to the list were added late last month in the form of two new carriers. Actually, one is new, the other is an existing freight and charter carrier expanding into passenger service.

The former is Salt Lake City-based Breeze Airways, the fifth airline startup founded by David Neeleman, which will launch non-stop flights out of Bradley this summer, including Charleston, Columbus, Norfolk, and Pittsburgh. The latter is Sun Country Airlines, which will be expanding its footprint at the airport with the introduction of passenger service to Minneapolis.

Dillon noted that several of those new destinations, and especially Charleston and Norfolk, are primarily leisure-travel spots, meaning they could get off to solid starts as Americans look to make up for lost time when it comes to getting away from it all.

Looking at the big picture, Dillon said decisions in Connecticut and Massachusetts to move up their ‘reopening’ dates and accelerate the return to a ‘new normal’ will only help Bradley gain altitude as it continues to climb back from what has been a dismal 14 months since the pandemic struck.

 

—George O’Brien

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced that Bradley International Airport will launch new, non-stop service to Minneapolis with Sun Country Airlines today.

“We are thrilled to offer new service on Sun Country Airlines, giving our passengers even more options to travel conveniently and affordably,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the CAA. “While Sun Country Airlines is already familiar to Bradley International Airport due to their existing cargo and charter operations, we are excited that they are expanding their footprint at the airport with the introduction of passenger service to Minneapolis. We look forward to this strengthened partnership and future route launches with Sun Country Airlines.”

The service to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport operates twice a week, in each case arriving at Bradley from Minnesota at 11:05 a.m. and departing Bradley at 11:40 a.m. To book a flight, visit www.suncountry.com.

In September, Sun Country Airlines will also be launching new, non-stop service from Bradley International Airport to Orlando, Fla.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced that Bradley International Airport is one of the launch airports for Breeze Airways. The newly founded carrier announced its official, national debut with the rollout of a route network across the U.S. At Bradley, it will launch four new, non-stop destinations this summer, including Charleston, S.C. (beginning May 27), and Columbus, Ohio; Norfolk, Va.; and Pittsburgh (all beginning July 22).

“This is an exciting time for Bradley International Airport and the Connecticut Airport Authority as our state emerges from the pandemic and more travelers are taking to the skies,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “This announcement today is further recognition that one of our greatest assets as a state and a region is Bradley International Airport, and these new destinations allow for residents to be connected to new business and tourism travel markets.”

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Breeze Airways was founded by David Neeleman and is his fifth airline startup, after JetBlue, Brazil’s Azul, Canada’s WestJet, and Utah-based Morris Air, which was later purchased by Southwest Airlines.

“Breeze is excited to be announcing service to Hartford,” Neeleman said. “I know Connecticut well from many years living there, and we see a significant number of unserved markets from Bradley that will provide us with many years of growth opportunities. And we’re thrilled to be able to give Hartford residents non-stop service so they can get where they want to go twice as fast for half the cost.”

The new non-stops will operate on a single-class Embraer aircraft, with a two-by-two seat configuration. Breeze Airways offers booking flexibility that includes no change or cancellation fees for flights changed or canceled up to 15 minutes before scheduled departure.

The airline is also dedicated to safety and cleanliness. Breeze’s aircraft are cleaned and disinfected frequently, and are equipped with HEPA filters onboard, which refresh cabin air every few minutes. In accordance with federal law, passengers and crew are required to wear face coverings on the aircraft, except while eating and drinking.

Flights are now on sale at www.flybreeze.com and the Breeze app.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced the debut of non-stop service from Bradley International Airport (BDL) to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) on Frontier Airlines.

“We’re delighted to announce new, non-stop service between Hartford and Atlanta,” said Tyri Squyres, vice president of Marketing at Frontier Airlines. “Our focus is delivering ‘low fares done right,’ and this new service represents our continued commitment to affordable flying and expanding travel opportunities for Connecticut flyers.”

The service will commence on June 11 and will operate four times per week. To view flight times and booking information, visit www.flyfrontier.com.

“We are excited to see Frontier Airlines expand their footprint at Bradley International Airport with the addition of new, non-stop service to Atlanta,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the CAA. “This added service strengthens our partnership with Frontier Airlines and builds on our commitment to offer more travel options to popular destinations on this renowned, low-cost carrier. As we join the aviation industry on the road to recovery, we thank Frontier Airlines for their continued vote of confidence in Bradley International Airport.”

With the debut of non-stop service to Atlanta, Frontier Airlines will now offer five non-stop destinations from Bradley International Airport this summer. The airline’s other destinations include Denver, Miami, Orlando, and Raleigh-Durham.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced the debut of new, non-stop service from Bradley International Airport (BDL) to Miami International Airport (MIA) on JetBlue.

“Connecting customers in the Northeast and South Florida has been a hallmark of JetBlue’s success for more than 20 years, and offering our award-winning service and low fares between Hartford and Miami means we can attract new customers and grow in both regions,” said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning for JetBlue.”

JetBlue recently commenced new, non-stop service from Bradley to Cancun, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

“We welcome JetBlue’s expansion at Bradley International Airport and the addition of new, non-stop service to Miami. This new route, which follows JetBlue’s other recent route launches, is a significant vote of confidence in our airport and the market we serve,” CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon said. “We appreciate JetBlue’s continued investment in our region, and are confident that our strengthened partnership will provide major benefits for our travelers.”

The new, daily service to Miami will commence on June 24 and will operate year-round. Flights depart Bradley at 9:25 a.m. and land in Miami at 12:30 p.m. Return flights take off from Miami at 1:15 p.m. and land at Bradley at 4:10 p.m.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced the launch of Southwest Airlines flights from Bradley International Airport to Nashville International Airport (BNA) in Tennessee.

“We are excited to launch Southwest Airlines’ non-stop service to Nashville from Bradley International Airport,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the CAA. “Nashville is a popular destination that also offers key connectivity to major destinations across Southwest’s West Coast network. The launch of this service significantly enhances our non-stop offering for our travelers, and, with its introduction, we are pleased to strengthen our long-standing partnership with Southwest Airlines.”

Flights are available for booking at www.southwest.com. Southwest Airlines has been operating at Bradley International Airport for more than 20 years.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced that USA Today has named Bradley International Airport a winner in its 2021 10Best Readers’ Choice travel contest in the “Best Small Airport” category. Bradley placed seventh out of 15 airports that were selected by industry experts as the best across the nation.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by our passengers and industry experts as being among the best of the best,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the CAA. “I believe this speaks volumes of our entire airport community’s commitment to our passengers and providing an exceptional customer experience even amidst some of the most challenging times in our industry.”

In response to COVID-19, the CAA has continued to enhance services at Bradley International Airport over the past year, aimed at providing a safe, clean, and comfortable travel experience. More information about the safety measures undertaken and what travelers can expect can be found at www.bdlcares.com.

On its website, USA Today noted that Bradley International Airport “ranks as the second-busiest airport after Boston Logan, yet it remains a convenient option with on-site parking, lots of charging stations, free wi-fi, and proximity to both New York and Boston.”

Bradley was chosen by a panel of industry experts for inclusion in the USA Today contest, which was followed by four weeks of public voting nationwide. This is the airport’s second national recognition within the year after placing as a top-10 airport in the 2020 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice survey.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority announced that Bradley International Airport has been nominated for a USA Today 2021 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award. The USA Today panel selected Bradley International Airport as a contender for Best Small Airport in the nation.

“We are thrilled to kick off the new year with this nomination,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “Even during these challenging times, Bradley International Airport continues to innovate and stand out in the airport industry. We invite our community to show pride for its home airport and bring this significant, national recognition to the region.”

On its website dedicated to voting, USA Today noted that Bradley International Airport “remains a convenient option, with on-site parking, lots of charging stations, free wi-fi, and proximity to both New York and Boston.”

The contest gives voters an opportunity to vote once per day for four weeks for the candidate of their choice. To vote for Bradley International Airport, click here. Voting runs through Monday, Feb. 1. The winners will be announced on Friday, Feb. 12.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced that Bradley International Airport has received the Airport Health Accreditation from Airports Council International (ACI) World. The organization’s Airport Health Accreditation program evaluates new health and safety measures and procedures introduced at airports worldwide in response to COVID-19.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have taken significant measures to keep our passengers and the entire Bradley International Airport community safe,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the CAA. “This global accreditation underscores our ongoing commitment to everyone’s well-being and is a key endorsement of the safety protocols we have implemented airport-wide in conjunction with our business partners. Whether our passengers are traveling this holiday season or in the new year, we want them to know that we are doing everything we can to create a safe travel experience for them.”

During the comprehensive accreditation process, ACI assesses the airport’s response and safety measures in the context of the entire passenger journey, including terminal access, check-in areas, security screening, boarding gates, lounges, retail, food and beverages, gate equipment such as boarding bridges, escalators and elevators, border-control areas and facilities, the baggage-claim area and the arrivals exit.

Among other things, ACI recognizes Bradley for cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing (where feasible and practical), staff protection, physical layout modifications, passenger communications, and passenger facility enhancements.

In addition to these safety measures, Bradley International Airport has also prioritized other initiatives to enhance the passenger journey, including contactless parking check-in/check-out availability (pre-registration required); renovated restrooms with touchless faucets, hand dryers, and light signals to indicate stall availability as well as added privacy and surfaces that promote more effective cleaning; terminal-wide air-purification technology, which will be in place in early 2021; and expanded mobile ordering in partnership with our restaurants, also to be introduced in 2021.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and Hartford HealthCare announced a new drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 conveniently located on the Bradley International Airport property. The site, which will open Monday, Nov. 23, will be available to the public without appointment, and will also add capacity for Bradley passengers.

Testing will be provided daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m in a specially equipped tent in the airport’s Parking Lot 3 on Schoephoester Road.

“Hartford HealthCare is proud to help our state take another step forward in the fight against this pandemic,” said Jeffrey Flaks, the health system’s president and CEO. “The addition of this site at Bradley International will vastly expand testing capabilities and offer more convenience for residents in the northern part of our state, as well as passengers at the airport.”

Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, added that “we are very pleased to partner with Hartford HealthCare in bringing their expertise and added testing capacity to Bradley International Airport. The CAA firmly believes that testing is an important element as the world adjusts to the new way of traveling, and this new site helps ensure adequate testing availability and convenience for residents in the region as well as our passengers.”

No pre-registration or doctor’s order is required to obtain a COVID-19 test at this location, and testing is safely provided without leaving one’s vehicle. Tests, which involve a small nasal swab for both nostrils, take less than five minutes to administer, and results are usually provided within 72 hours. Billing for the test is handled through individuals’ insurance plans, and residents of Massachusetts may use this site to be tested.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced that Condé Nast Traveler released the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards, with Bradley International Airport recognized as the eighth-best airport in the U.S.

“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, U.S. editor of Condé Nast Traveler. “The winners represent the best of the best for our audience and offer plenty of trip-planning inspiration for all the adventures we can’t wait to have next.”

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. Bradley International Airport was recognized as a top-10 airport for the fourth consecutive year.

“This award is a tremendous honor during a challenging year for the travel industry, and we are proud to once again be recognized among our nation’s best airports,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “We thank the travel community for their continued vote of confidence in Bradley International Airport and for underscoring the value of traveling through a smaller airport. Now more than ever, Bradley Airport stands out by always offering a clean, safe, and convenient travel experience.”

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced a partnership with Connecticut-based lab Genesys Diagnostics in the opening of a COVID-19 testing site in the baggage-claim area of Bradley International Airport. This testing site is one of the first in the nation to be located directly in an airport terminal.

“The health of our economy and the health of our state go hand in hand. The team at the Connecticut Airport Authority understands this very well,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “They are taking every precaution possible to keep their staff, airline workers, and travelers safe, and this new testing capability will go a long way to helping make sure that COVID-19 screening is available for all who come into the state through Bradley International Airport.”

The launch of the Bradley testing site is made possible by recent changes to the state travel order. Previously, passengers traveling to Connecticut from states affected by the state travel order were allowed to avoid a 14-day quarantine only if they were traveling for specific purposes and if they received a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut. As a result of recent changes, any passenger arriving in Connecticut from an impacted state is exempt from the 14-day quarantine period if the traveler receives a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut or after arriving in Connecticut. A testing site located directly at Bradley Airport enhances safety for passengers and offers convenience for both business and leisure travelers arriving in Connecticut who wish to shorten their quarantine period.

“The new COVID-19 testing site at Bradley Airport is yet another step that we are taking to make Bradley International Airport the most convenient airport for regional travelers, and we thank Governor Lamont and the Department of Public Health for their partnership on this initiative,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “Rather than endure the anxiety of larger crowds and inconvenience at New York or Boston airports, travelers can feel increasingly comfortable with the short lines, strong safety measures, and the on-site availability of quick testing for Bradley passengers and employees.”

The testing site is located in the baggage-claim area at Bradley, between vestibule doors 4 and 5 and across from bag belts 5 and 6. Testing will be available seven days per week between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m., or as needed per airline scheduling. Testing is available only to passengers traveling through Bradley on the day of their testing and airport employees. Passengers must show a copy of their physical or mobile boarding pass demonstrating they are departing from or arriving at the airport on the day of testing.

Genesys Diagnostics is providing COVID-19 testing via minimally invasive anterior nasal swab. Results will be available within 24 hours of testing. To minimize wait time and crowding near the site, passengers are strongly encouraged to pre-register before arriving at the testing site. Pre-registration is available on the Genesys website at www.gdilabs.com.

Passengers are encouraged to check their health insurance, as many insurers will cover all costs associated with COVID-19 testing. If a passenger does not have health insurance, or if the test is not covered by the passenger’s insurer, tests are still available for $125 each.

In order to avoid or shorten the 14-day quarantine, passengers need to provide written proof of the negative test result to the Department of Health Commissioner via e-mail at [email protected] or by fax to (860) 326-0529.

Daily News

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced non-stop service to four new destinations from Bradley International Airport on JetBlue. These new destinations include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cancún, Mexico.

“One of Connecticut’s best competitive assets is its international airport in such close proximity to so many of our communities and employers,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said. “This strengthening of the partnership with JetBlue shows once again how important Bradley International Airport is to our present and our future. More routes and a strong international airport are key to Connecticut’s success.”

Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, added that “we are thrilled that JetBlue has taken the step to strengthen their presence and route network at Bradley Airport with this impressive launch of four new cities. JetBlue is an important partner for us, and we are very pleased to see that the airline recognizes the potential of the Bradley Airport market. We are confident that our strengthened partnership will provide major benefits for Connecticut travelers, JetBlue, and Bradley Airport.”

The new service to Cancún, Mexico is slated to commence on Nov. 19, while service to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are all slated to begin on Dec. 18. This new service will compliment JetBlue’s existing non-stop routes from Bradley to numerous Florida destinations as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Travel and Tourism

Taking Flight

When the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) launched nonstop flights on Frontier Airlines from Bradley International Airport to Miami on Nov. 14, it marked yet another success in the airport’s goal of expanding destinations for customers, particularly budget, non-stop flights.

“We are excited to launch Frontier Airlines’ non-stop to Miami from Bradley International Airport,” said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the CAA.  “Frontier Airlines’ low-cost model is a key addition to our route structure. We are pleased to offer our passengers this additional travel option along with the high level of customer service that Frontier offers to its customers.”

The non-stop service will operate seasonally starting through April 2020 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, aboard an A320 Neo aircraft. The outbound flight departs from Bradley at 8 p.m. and arrives at Miami International Airport at 11:23 p.m. The inbound flight leaves Miami at 3:55 p.m. and arrives at Bradley at 7:04 p.m. 

Frontier Airlines also operates non-stop flights from Bradley to Denver, Orlando, and Raleigh-Durham. Non-stop flights to Orlando operate year-round, and the non-stop flights to Denver and Raleigh-Durham operate seasonally.

“We’re happy to expand our service at Bradley International Airport with non-stop flights to Miami,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president of Commercial for Frontier Airlines. “These new flights are an affordable and convenient option for travel to South Florida to explore the unique dining, sunny beaches, and endless activities. We appreciate the support of the community and look forward to continuing our outstanding partnership with the airport where we now offer four non-stop destinations.”

When the CAA took over operations at Bradley in 2013, it was handling roughly 5.5 million passengers a year. Now, that figure is more than 6.6 million.

Recent years have seen Bradley launch low-cost, non-stop service to Pittsburgh on Via Airlines, and to St. Louis on Southwest Airlines. Meanwhile, internationally, the daily Aer Lingus flight to Dublin introduced in 2016 has becoming increasingly popular with business and leisure flyers, and last year the airline committed to another four years at Bradley.

Passenger Experience

These developments, among others, have contributed to six straight years of passenger growth since the CAA began managing the airport in Windsor Locks in 2013. When the CAA took over operations at Bradley in 2013, it was handling roughly 5.5 million passengers a year. Now, that figure is more than 6.6 million.

And it’s not just flight expansion, but improvement in amenities as well. Bradley has added new eateries in recent years, such as Phillips Seafood and Two Roads Brewery. It also saw the opening earlier this month of Natalie’s Candy Jar, a self-serve candy store with more than 400 different sweet treats, beverages, and candy-related gift items.

“Natalie’s Candy Jar is a popular brand with a national footprint, making it a key addition to Bradley’s customer experience,” Dillon said. “The store’s unique and fun atmosphere, coupled with the high quality of candy, sugar-free treats, and gifts, will be well-received by travelers of all ages.”

Meanwhile, Travelers Aid International has begun serving Bradley’s passengers with a guest-service volunteer program. Travelers Aid currently operates similar guest-service volunteer programs at four other airports: New York JFK, Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, and Washington Reagan.

These service-focused improvements have all helped Bradley International Airport earn a spot in the prestigious ranking of five best airports in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler three years in a row.

Dillon hopes readers keep the accolades coming for Bradley’s planned, $210 million ground transportation center, which recently broke ground for construction. When it’s open, passengers will be able to fly into Bradley and connect to the transportation center via a walkway from the terminal. All the rental-car companies serving Bradley will be located there, as well as 830 spaces of public parking.

The transportation facility will also serve as a transit hub for the various bus services into and out of Bradley, as a connecting point to the rail line that now connects New Haven with Springfield.

—Joseph Bednar

Features

Cruising Altitude

Two Roads Tap Room

Two Roads Tap Room is among several food and drink options Bradley has either added recently or plans to open in the coming year.

It’s no secret that the air-travel industry is a competitive one. But Kevin Dillon said it’s doubly so for the airports themselves.

“We’re competing with many regional airports for passengers, but we’re also competing with every airport in the country for limited assets — meaning aircraft,” he told BusinessWest. “Airlines will put aircraft where they get the best return. So we have to provide the best customer service possible, along with keeping operating costs low for airlines. Airports that can do both will be very successful.”

By any standard, Bradley International Airport has been exactly that in recent years, said Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA), which has managed the airport in Windsor Locks since 2013 — during which time it has enjoyed six straight years of passenger growth.

Part of that momentum stems from giving passengers what they need, and that’s more flight destinations. Recently announced non-stop additions include service to Denver, Raleigh-Durham, and Orlando on Frontier Airlines; to Pittsburgh on Via Airlines, and to St. Louis on Southwest Airlines.

Kevin Dillon

Kevin Dillon

“We continue to be very heavily focused on airline route development, and we continue to push for additional non-stop routes,” Dillon said, adding that the top goal these days is to boost West Coast service, particularly to Seattle, which would allow easy, one-stop access to Asia from Bradley.

“We already have service into Los Angeles and San Francisco, but Seattle would complement those very nicely,” he explained, adding that the CAA is also focused on Phoenix, Austin, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Jacksonville. “As it stands today, we feel we have a very healthy non-stop menu, but we want to expand that.”

Internationally, the daily Aer Lingus flight to Dublin introduced in 2016 has becoming increasingly popular with area business and leisure flyers, and the airline recently committed to another four years at Bradley.

“That service has been a success, especially during the spring and summer months, when business travel to Europe is supplemented by more leisure travel to Ireland,” he added. “We’ll be exploring additional trans-Atlantic service, but we also want to be very careful to make sure we’re fully supporting the Aer Lingus service.”

“Airlines will put aircraft where they get the best return. So we have to provide the best customer service possible, along with keeping operating costs low for airlines. Airports that can do both will be very successful.”

So, Bradley continues to give flyers what they need in terms of destinations. But just as important is giving them what they want. That’s where customer service comes in — and it’s a much more involved game than it was a few decades ago.

Comfort Zone

When Dillon entered the air-travel world in 1975, he said, operating airports was viewed exclusively as a government function, and airports were largely utilitarian in design. Now, it’s a very competitive business that’s laser-focused on pleasing its customers.

Bradley is doing so in a number of ways, including new eateries, such as recent additions Phillips Seafood and Two Roads Tap Room. “We’re looking to add additional concessions in 2019 — particularly in the concourse that houses United and American. Folks can look forward to some new brands coming in 2019; we’re negotiating the deals right now.

“That nicely complements some improvements made in other areas of the airport,” he went on. “Two Roads and Phillips are doing very well, and so is our club, the Escape Lounge. Black Bear restaurant closed down, and it’s going to be redone and refreshed. A lot of good things are coming to the terminal building.”

On that list is a planned $5 million renovation of all public restrooms in the complex, he added. “Everything we do here in the terminal building, all the improvements we make at Bradley, are with an eye toward improved customer service, whether it’s new concessions or something as routine as adding a new elevator. We’re constantly looking to make someone’s journey through the terminal building better.”

Meanwhile, the CAA recently announced that Travelers Aid International has begun serving Bradley’s passengers with a guest-service volunteer program. Forty-five volunteers currently staff the service — which operates out of the Information Center on the lower level of Terminal A, the baggage-claim level — while Travelers Aid continues to recruit more of them.

Travelers Aid currently operates similar guest-service volunteer programs at four other airports: New York JFK, Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, and Washington Reagan. In addition, it operates the information booth at Washington Union Station. At these five locations, more than 750 Travelers Aid volunteers assisted more than 4.2 million passengers in 2017.

These service-focused improvements have all contributed to Bradley’s continued rise up the annual Condé Nast Traveler poll. The publication’s most recent Readers’ Choice Awards recognized Bradley as the third-best airport in the U.S. Travelers gave the airport high marks for “convenient on-site parking, plentiful charging stations and free wi-fi, decent restaurant options, and an overall relaxed atmosphere.”

airport terminals must be attractive and packed with convenient amenities

Kevin Dillon says airport terminals must be attractive and packed with convenient amenities in order to draw business in a competitive market.10

Selling Convenience

Dillon hopes they have similar praise for Bradley’s planned, $210 million ground transportation center, which is the final stages of design and financing. Construction may begin as soon as this year.

When it’s open, passengers will be able to fly into Bradley and connect to the transportation center via a walkway from the terminal. All the rental-car companies serving Bradley will be located there, as well as 830 spaces of public parking.

“We have rental cars scattered all around airport,” Dillon said. “Being able to walk right into the new center to get a car is, by itself, a great customer-service improvement.”

“We continue to be very heavily focused on airline route development, and we continue to push for additional non-stop routes.”

The transportation facility will also serve as a transit hub for the various bus services into and out of Bradley, as a connecting point to the rail line that now connects New Haven with Springfield. “We feel this is a real opportunity to connect the airport to that rail service,” he added. “We want to have a location within this transportation center where we can process rail and bus passengers.”

Meanwhile, the CAA expects to complete the new airport entrance roadway this summer, he noted.

“That was a safety improvement as well as a capacity improvement, as we look to grow the airport. We want to be sure people can easily access ground transportation, and make sure that driving into airport is just as convenient as the terminal building.”

When the CAA took over operations at Bradley in 2013, it was handling roughly 5.5 million passengers a year. Now, that figure is more than 6.5 million. But Dillon doesn’t think the airport is close to its potential.

“How big can Bradley Airport get? I do think we can be a 10 million passenger airport,” he told BusinessWest — but only if it continues to drive improvements in what passengers need, and also what they want.

“We know, at the end of the day, that what we’re selling is convenience,” he said. “When you compare Bradley with Logan or the New York airports, what differentiates us is that people look at Bradley as the most convenient option.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

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