Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport serves as the entry-point for this popular Florida tourist destination, which also serves as a seasonal home for snowbirds during the winter and spring months. A large portion of the airport's commercial airline traffic occurs during the winter and spring months, and airport managers are abuzz recently over American Airlines’ recent move to restore links to this major state air transport hub.
American Airlines’ affiliate American Eagle will commence starting Dec. 13 a nonstop service between Miami and Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. The carrier will fly two daily round-trip flights using its 64-seat ATR-72 turbo-prop aircraft. Local news sources have said that AA "is returning after a seven-year hiatus and will receive about $500,000 in incentives. The airline previously flew from Sarasota-Bradenton to Miami in the 1990s before pulling out in April 2000 during a consolidation", the paper adds
The local media further added that the new service is the latest in a string of new airlines opening routes with the airport, and that includes new flights from JetBlue, Continental, Northwest, AirTran and USA 3000. American Eagle spokeswoman Andrea Huguely noted that Sarasota-Bradenton International "has grown a lot in the last couple of years. We saw a need in the market, and our premium customers have been asking for us to return."