Evansville Regional Airport is adding twice-weekly Orlando, Florida, connections to its air service inventory via Breeze Airways, a low-cost carrier that began operations only two years ago.
The back-and-forth flights between EVV and Orlando International Airport will be on Mondays and Fridays beginning Feb. 23, 2024.
Like many airports, EVV has lost flights since the COVID-19 pandemic, and officials welcomed the chance to bring in a new carrier.
Discussions between EVV and Breeze Airways happened over several months, and Evansville’s airport is the first in Indiana to offer Breeze flights. Breeze is based in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area.
“Breeze’s business model is all about connecting under-served markets with more air service, and that’s where Evansville fits in,” says Ryne Williams, a communications specialist with Breeze Airways. “We are able to add more service to these deserving communities who need it but can’t find it from some of the major carriers.”
EVV already has one nonstop connection to the Orlando area. Allegiant Air flies to and from Orlando Sanford International Airport twice a week. That airport is an Allegiant Air base.
Officials with EVV and Breeze Airways say there’s enough traveler interest in Central Florida’s many theme parks and destinations to sustain the flights to two different Orlando markets by both carriers.
EVV’s newly announced connection “will augment and add to” its current flights via Allegiant Air, says Nate Hahn, EVV’s executive director.
One-way connections between EVV and Orlando International Airport via Breeze will start at $49, Williams says. The carrier will use an Airbus A220 model, with first-class accommodations an option for passengers.
“Our whole model is about being seriously nice,” Williams says. “We want to bring that flexibility, affordability – things that haven’t gone away but are hard to come by sometimes.”
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and Mark Wasky, senior vice president for community affairs with the Indiana Economic Development Corp., joined Hahn and Williams on Nov. 8 for the partnership’s announcement. It was the airport’s first recent addition of new air service, and its terminal sported palm tree décor and a Jimmy Buffet playlist for the occasion.
As reported in Evansville Business magazine’s August/September 2022 feature story , EVV lost its connections with Chicago, Illinois, and Detroit, Michigan, due to the pandemic. Airport officials often are asked about regaining those flights, and they say it remains a goal.
“We continue to work with mainline carriers on Chicago and other business-focused hubs, but today is a Breeze day, and we look forward to a strong future with them,” Hahn said at the Breeze Airways announcement.
Williams says more connections from Evansville are possible down the road. Breeze has flights to several popular vacation spots in the U.S., such as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Fort Myers, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We are always open to new opportunities, and we’ll continue to work with our partners at the airport to find that niche, find where we can fit in,” he says.
EVV has retained its daily air connections with Atlanta, Georgia, via Delta Air Lines, and with Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dallas, Texas, via American Airlines. In addition to its twice-weekly connections with Orlando, Allegiant Air also offers seasonal flights from EVV to Destin, Florida.