FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has seen double-digit international growth for more than three years now – and it’s not stopping anytime soon.
On the map: 50 foreign cities in 30 countries with a lot of new destinations in Europe.
“Certainly, we expect to see more penetration into Europe and Scandinavia and in other locations abroad there, continued growth in the Caribbean, Latin America markets,” said FLL CEO Mark Gale.
Gale said part of what’s fueling the rapid growth is expansion of the airport.
On Wednesday, international gates nearly doubled from six to 11 when Concourse A opened – allowing Southwest Airlines to expand their international service.
“They already announced that FLL is going to be their largest international gateway anywhere in their system,” Gale said. “So we’re expected to see a lot of international traffic with them.”
On top of that, British Airways is now flying non-stop to London.
And airport growth isn’t over yet. The new Terminal 4 is halfway done. It will add even more international arrival gates, meaning tourism officials can work with the airport to drum up more interest.
“We’ve been working as a convention and visitors bureau on Asia, so that is a huge market we are tapping into,” said Eric Garnica with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are doing a lot of work there, so hopefully we can do something there on that side of the world.”
For travelers it means more choices.
“I always like coming into Fort Lauderdale because Fort Lauderdale is easier for me to get into for international,” Derek Tenney said.
Right now, there are 11 international gates that are open at FLL. That numbers going up to 17 by the end of 2018.