Yesterday, the Metro Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) announced that United Airlines will be adding two daily non-stop flights from Dulles International Airport to Florida beach cities Fort Myers and Sarasota. The announcement comes as United prepares to begin thrice weekly non-stop flights to Tel, Aviv, Israel in May.
United may be the largest carrier at Dulles, but it isn’t the only carrier launching new non-stop routes from Dulles this year. According to MWAA, in June, Egypt Air will begin thrice weekly service to Cairo, Alitalia will launch a five day a week route to Rome in May, and TAP Portugal will begin five day a week service to Lisbon, also in May.
With new routes on the way, Dulles is poised to build off of last year’s success when it surpassed Reagan National with 24.1 million passengers. Recent growth at Dulles may be traced to the airport’s ability to cut down on boarding costs. As liveandletsfly.com notes, “Costs at Dulles have fallen each year since 2014, when the average cost of boarding one passenger was $26.55. The current cost is a much more reasonable $16.89 and is predicted to continue to decline as capital projects like the people mover and fourth runway are fully paid off.” With new routes and declining boarding costs, Dulles is set to significantly expand in the coming year.