Tag Archives: Miami International Airport

MIA is first U.S. airport to test COVID-19 detector dogs

Miami International Airport has made this announcement:

As part of its ongoing effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Miami International Airport is now getting help from some furry new friends: detector dogs specially trained with protocols created by the Global Forensic and Justice Center (GFJC) at Florida International University (FIU).

Thanks to a resolution sponsored by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kionne L. McGhee and approved by the Board of County Commissioners in March 2021, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department is partnering with the GFJC at FIU and American Airlines to host a 30-day COVID-19 detector dog pilot program at MIA, making it the first U.S. airport to test COVID-sniffing canines. The dogs are deployed at an employee security checkpoint.

Photo: From left to right: Dr. Kenneth G. Furton, FIU Provost and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Chairman, Board of County Commissioners, Miami-Dade County; Ralph Cutie, MIA Interim Director; Raquel Regalado, Commissioner, Board of County Commissioners; Kionne L. McGhee, Commissioner, Board of County Commissioners; and, Morris Copeland, Chief Community Services Officer, Miami-Dade County.

“This pandemic has pushed us to innovate to stop the spread. I applaud Commissioner McGhee and the County Commission for thinking outside the box with this initiative,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “We’re proud to do everything we can to protect our residents. I look forward to seeing how the airport tests their skills and expanding the pilot program to other County facilities.”

Detector dogs have the potential for immediate detection and response to the virus in public spaces like airports. After hundreds of training sessions at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus in Miami this year, the detector dogs achieved accuracy rates from 96 to 99 percent for detecting COVID-19 in published peer-reviewed, double-blind trials. After the pilot program ends in September, FIU will continue to work on the accuracy and specificity, which will assist in COVID variant detection, of the canine following scientifically validated methods.

“COVID-19 has reshaped the world and lifestyle we are used to,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kionne L. McGhee. “It has forced our businesses to become innovative in how they do business. It has forced our faith-based organizations and schools to bring forth a different approach to how congregations and students are taught. Even our families have had to readjust and become more creative in how they socialize and celebrate special occasions. Therefore, we must not stay behind in our approach to fighting the spread of this virus. I am proud to be the sponsor of a program that will bring about crucial life-saving benefits for our communities.”

The two dogs in the pilot program at MIA – Cobra (a Belgian Malinois) and One Betta (a Dutch Shepherd) – have been trained to alert to the scent of COVID-19. The virus causes metabolic changes in a person that result in the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The VOCs are excreted by a person’s breath and sweat, producing a scent that trained dogs can detect. The metabolic changes are common for all people, regardless of their individual scents. If a dog indicates an individual is carrying the odor of the virus, that person is directed to get a rapid COVID test.

“Being able to apply decades of research in this way, to provide an additional layer of protection to airport employees at Miami International Airport, it’s humbling,” says Dr. Kenneth G. Furton, FIU Provost and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “These dogs are another valuable tool we can leverage to help us live with this ongoing pandemic.”

Numerous studies have demonstrated that detector dogs are one of the most reliable tools available to identify substances based on the odors they emit. Previous studies include demonstrating that detector dogs can reliably detect persons that have diseases, such as diabetes, epilepsy, and certain cancers. Detector dogs have long been used by federal and local agencies at MIA to detect prohibited currency, drugs, explosives, and agriculture.

“The COVID-19 detector dog pilot program is the latest effort by MIA to serve as a test bed for new innovations in safety and security,” said MIA Interim Director Ralph Cutié. “We are proud to do our part in the fight against COVID-19, and we hope to see this pilot program potentially benefit the rest of Miami-Dade County and airports across the country.”

American to add new routes from the Miami hub this winter

American Airlines has made this announcement for its Miami International Airport (MIA) hub:

  • American strengthens its presence at MIA with two new international destinations in Mexico and Colombia in December.
  • Six new domestic routes launch this winter, further connecting South Florida to the broadest global network.
  • By the end of the year, American will offer more than 130 nonstop destinations from MIA, the most of any carrier.

This winter, American Airlines will continue to grow its footprint at its largest international gateway, Miami International Airport (MIA), adding two new international destinations and six new domestic routes. With today’s announcement, American further solidifies its position as the largest airline at MIA, operating 341 peak daily flights this winter.

San Andres Island, Colombia (ADZ)

San Andres Island, Colombia (ADZ)

Better connectivity to Latin America and the Caribbean

In December, the carrier will launch two new international routes from MIA: Chetumal, Mexico (CTM); and San Andres Island, Colombia (ADZ). With these new routes, American will serve 28 destinations in Mexico – the most of any U.S. carrier – and seven in Colombia.

 

Destination Frequency Flights Begin
ADZ Wednesdays and Saturdays Dec. 4
CTM Wednesdays and Saturdays Dec. 1

Photo: Miami International Airport.

Six new ways to head south this winter

This winter, American’s customers will enjoy the sun, sand and the world-famous nightlife of South Florida on their terms with the most options and convenient schedule of any airline. The carrier is adding daily seasonal service between MIA and Salt Lake City (SLC); and seasonal Saturday service to Albany, New York (ALB); Burlington, Vermont (BTV); Madison, Wisconsin (MSN); Syracuse, New York (SYR); and Tulsa, Oklahoma (TUL).

 

Destination Frequency Flights Operate
ALB Saturdays Nov. 6 – April 2
BTV Saturdays Nov. 6 – April 2
MSN Saturdays Nov. 6 – April 2
SLC Daily Dec. 16 – April 4
SYR Saturdays Nov. 6 – April 2
TUL Saturdays Year-round beginning Nov. 6

 

In addition to these new routes, current daily seasonal service Oklahoma City (OKC) becomes year-round. Daily seasonal service between MIA and Des Moines, Iowa (DSM) and Milwaukee (MKE) will operate between Nov. 2 and April 4. Finally, year-round Saturday service to Fayetteville, Arkansas (XNA) begins Nov. 6.

Earlier this summer, American launched new, three-times-weekly service from MIA to Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV), as well as new domestic service to Huntsville, Alabama (HSV); Little Rock, Arkansas (LIT); Milwaukee (MKE); Portland, Maine (PWM); and Rochester, New York (ROC). Service between MIA and Bangor, Maine (BGR) launched July 3. Starting Sept. 7, American will also be the first and only U.S. carrier to offer nonstop service to Paramaribo, Suriname (PBM). Flights will operate five times per week with a convenient schedule for customers traveling across the United States to connect through MIA.

MIA sets a new record for cargo shipments in 2020

Miami International Airport set a new record for cargo volume in 2020 with 2.32 million tons, which was 57,382 more tons than its total in 2019.

MIA finished the year exceptionally strong with an average of 210,000 tons in October, November and December, making them the airport’s busiest months ever. MIA also ended 2020 with a record 59,000 cargo-only flights, which was nearly 8,000 more flights than in 2019.

As the busiest U.S. airport for international freight and perishable products, MIA continued to be a global hub for essential supplies and e-commerce throughout the pandemic. MIA was also uniquely prepared to be a leading air cargo hub for the COVID-19 vaccines, thanks to years of experience as the first airport in the Western Hemisphere and only the second in the world to be designated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a pharmaceutical freight hub in 2015. In 2020, MIA also won the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) award for the Best Airport in North America for Cargo – the third time MIA has received this award in the last five years.

Our record-setting year would not have been possible without the strong partnership we share with each and every airline, federal agency and logistics provider that adapted and maintained their services throughout the pandemic. We are deeply grateful for their ongoing support and look forward to reaching even greater heights together in 2021, as we facilitate more essential trade and commerce across our region and the globe.”
Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO

Some of Miami’s most famous voices will soon welcome passengers and visitors at MIA

Miami International Airport’s passengers and visitors will soon receive a warm welcome from some of Miami’s most recognizable voices.

World-renowned artists, athletes and local personalities have lent their voices to MIA in a new initiative to share the warmth and energy of our diverse and vibrant community.

Bringing the heat to this launch are NBA Champions Alonzo Mourning and Udonis Haslem along with Grammy-winning recording artist Willy Chirino and singer and telenovela star Jencarlos Canela.

“We thank all of the hometown personalities who are participating in this campaign which is representative of our diverse community,” said Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO. “We are excited that our 45 million passengers will now be greeted by these celebrities who call Miami home.”

The messages will be heard on MIA’s overhead announcement system inside the terminals throughout the day on a rotating basis.

Follow us using #VoicesOfMIA and @iflymia

Stay tuned as more of Miami’s most iconic voices will soon be announced.

MIA wins approval for up to $5 billion in modernization projects

The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners today adopted a new capital improvement program at Miami International Airport that will fund up to $5 billion in airport-wide modernization projects over the next five to 15 years, paving the way for future growth in passenger and cargo traffic at MIA – projected to reach 77 million travelers and more than four million tons of freight by the year 2040.

“MIA is Miami-Dade County’s leading economic engine and busiest gateway, generating nearly $31 billion in business revenue and welcoming 96 percent of all visitors to our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The goal of this new capital program is for MIA to provide even greater value, convenience and efficiency to our visitors, airline partners and cargo operators.”

The comprehensive program is designed to address all of the airport’s future capacity and operational needs through five sub-programs that include: a redevelopment of Central Terminal concourses E and F; an expanded South Terminal (concourses H and J); renovated Concourse D gates to accommodate additional wide- and narrow-body aircraft, as well as larger regional jets; two new hotels (one which will include a business and conference center with exhibition space) and other miscellaneous landside projects; and expanded aircraft parking positions and warehouses for cargo operations.

The multi-billion-dollar program is the latest in a string of historic milestones for MIA, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last September. In 2018, MIA surpassed 45 million annual passengers for the first time ever – an increase of nearly one million over the previous year. The gateway of the Americas served 21.8 international passengers in 2018 – making it once again the busiest airport in Florida for international travelers and third-busiest U.S. gateway in that category. MIA continues to maintain its ranking as the busiest U.S. airport for international freight as well, setting a new record of 2.3 million total tons of freight in 2018 – up 60,000 tons from its 2017 total.

MIA surpassed 45 million passengers in 2018 for first time

 

Miami International Airport passed the 45-million-passenger milestone for the first time ever in 2018, serving nearly one million more travelers than the previous year. The busiest U.S. airport for international freight also set a new record of 2.3 million tons of freight, adding 60,000 tons to the 2017 total. MIA served nearly 21.9 million international passengers for the year – up 403,380 from 2017 – and more than 23.1 million domestic travelers in 2018, compared to 22.6 million the previous year. The airport’s audited 2018 traffic statistics were finalized this week.

Hub carrier American Airlines launched new international routes to Bonaire, Netherland Antilles on June 20, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on December 15, Pereira, Colombia and Georgetown, Guyana on December 20, as well as new and increased service to 11 domestic destinations.

MIA also added four new passenger airlines to its roster: Air Italy launched four weekly flights to Milan in June; Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL began daily flights to Brasilia and Fortaleza in November; Sunwing Airlines began 10 weekly flights to Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Ottawa on December 1; and Flair began weekly service to Edmonton, Winnipegand Toronto on December 15. Existing carriers Viva Air began three weekly flights to Santa Marta, Colombia on December 18, and United Airlines began daily Washington Dulles service on December 19.

Three new cargo carriers launched MIA in 2018 as well: Southern Air began weekly all-cargo service to Hong Kong in April; Ethiopian Airlines launched two weekly freighter flights to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in August, creating the first-ever cargo-only route between the African continent and MIA; and Amazon Air launched double-daily freighter service in October to destinations across the U.S.

Four international carriers have scheduled entries into the Miami market in 2019: Low-cost carrier Norwegian will begin first-ever service at MIA on March 31 to London Gatwick Airport; Moroccan national carrier and four-star airline Royal Air Maroc will launch the first-ever MiamiCasablanca route on April 3 – MIA’s first passenger flights to Africa since the year 2000 and Florida’s only nonstop service to the continent; LOT Polish Airlines will begin four weekly flights to Warsaw on June 1 – MIA’s first service to Poland and the only nonstop route between Florida and Eastern Europe; and French airline Corsair will launch service to Paris Orly Airport on June 10, with four weekly flights.

XTRA Airways introduces a new livery, completes its move to the Miami area

XTRAirways 737-400 N688XA (15)(Grd)(XTRA)(LR)

XTRA Airways (stylized as XTRAirways) (formerly Casino Express Airlines) (Boise, now Miami) has introduced a new livery.

The charter airline has also acquired ex Airberlin/Orenair Boeing 737-86J now registered as N625XA (msn 32625, Ex D-ABBC/VP-BEZ). The new addition was painted this week at Roswell, New Mexico.

XTRAirways logo

The company recently announced on May 29 that it had completed the relocation of its corporate headquarters from Boise, Idaho to its new home at Coral Gables, Florida near Miami International Airport.

XTRA with the move, had also opened its new Operations Control Center (OCC). XTRA’s new OCC, which includes Flight Dispatch, Maintenance Control, Flight Crew Scheduling and Flight Logistics Support, is now co-located with its parent company (AerLine Holdings, LLC) at AerLine’s existing headquarters at 121 Alhambra Plaza, Coral Gables, FL.

XTRA Airways, which also operates 150-seat Boeing 737-400 series aircraft (above), was founded in 1987 as an FAA Certified, 14 CFR Part 121 Air Carrier, and was acquired by AerLine Holdings, Inc. in December 2014.

According to the company, “XTRA has operated for over 25 years specializing in providing safe and reliable air travel, while focusing on personalized customer care in the demanding commercial jet charter market.”

Photo: XTRA Airways. Ex-City Airways Boeing 737-4Y0 N688XA (msn 24688) shows off the new look and was leased from AerSale on May 28, 2015.

XTRA Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

JustPlanes 25 Years banner

Avior Airlines to add 12 used aircraft and its first European route

Avior Airlines (Barcelona, Venezuela) is expanding. According to this report by Reuters, the Venzuelan carrier is adding six Airbus A340-300s, four additional Boeing 737-400s and two Boeing 737-300s. The first “new” aircraft is due in September. This will allow the carrier to retire its aging Boeing 737-200s.

Avior logo

The airline is also planning to add new routes to Peru, Uruguay and Madrid, Spain, its first European destination.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Avior crew

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Avior Airlines). Avior currently operates venerable Boeing 737-200s and newer Boeing 737-400s. Ex-Piedmont Airlines/USAir/US Airways Boeing 737-401 YV2946 (msn 23886) departs from Miami International Airport (MIA).

Avior Fleet Chart

Avior aircraft slide show:

Video: Avior Airlines started subsidiary Avior Regional with Fokker 50s in 2014 for its regional feeder routes:

JustPlanes 25 Years banner

 

 

Qatar Airways to take the Miami route to daily as it celebrates the first anniversary

Qatar Airways (Doha) today celebrates the first anniversary of the Doha – Miami route. The new route has been a success for the carrier. The airline will take the route to daily service on November 18. The company issued this statement:

Qatar Airways logo

Today, Qatar Airways, a proud member of the oneworld alliance, celebrates one year of nonstop service between Miami International Airport and Hamad International Airport in Doha. Due to a successful first year and an increase in passenger demand, Qatar Airways will increase from five flights per week to daily flights along this route, beginning November 18, 2015.

Qatar Airways is the only carrier to offer a nonstop flight between Miami and the Middle East, connecting South Florida to over 140 destinations around the world via its state-of-the-art hub in Doha.

“Miami and Doha share a vibrant love of art, fashion and music,” said Vice President of the Americas, Gunter Saurwein. “With a kinship for travel, both cities have so much to contribute to one another. The immense demand along this route has exceeded our expectations and we are very pleased to offer daily flights this fall.”

Both Doha and Miami are essential components of the worldwide aviation network. Through Doha’s centralized location and modern services at Hamad International Airport, travelers from Miami can reach cities such as Bangkok, Colombo, Jakarta, and Mumbai in an impressive 20 hours or less through a quick transfer in Doha. Similarly, travelers can connect seamlessly to key destinations in both North and South America from Miami.

Qatar Airways’ Miami to Doha route is operated with a Boeing 777-300 ER in a two-class configuration of 42 seats in Business Class and 293 seats in Economy Class.

While increasing flights in Miami, Qatar Airways also recently announced plans to launch service to new destinations across the United States. The airline plans to commence daily, nonstop flights between Doha and Los Angeles on January 1, Boston on March 16 and Atlanta on July 1 in 2016.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 18 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of over 150 aircraft to 146 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3DZ ER A7-BAC (msn 3610) climbs away from Heathrow Airport in London.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show