SRQ Fee Cut Augurs Well for Region’s International Posturing


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, September 22nd, 2015 – Steps appear falling perfectly in place as business and government in the Sarasota-Bradenton area continue launching bold initiatives to help draw international market interest in the region.

Better traction, for one, has been lent to recent realtor posturing to convert visiting foreign tourists into buyers when the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) announced in August 2015 that it is again reducing the fees it charges to airlines for each passenger next year. SRQ officials said the airport will cut airline fees by an average of 36 cents for every passenger.

In the current fiscal 2015, a 59-cent reduction has already been implemented. Airport authorities are optimistic that their fee reductions will be an incentive for airlines to help market the Bradenton-Sarasota destination and thus contribute in bringing in more business and tourists to the region.

Rise in passenger traffic

SRQ Fee Cut Augurs Well for Region's International Posturing

Passenger arrivals is projected to increase to about 625,000 in fiscal 2016, a volume which can improve further should airlines realize greater savings in bringing in more people to SRQ, a development that should provide some additional market exposure to Sarasota homes for sale.

Notwithstanding the airline fee reduction, SRQ expects to earn an operating profit of $1.56 million in fiscal 2016 as a result of a projected cut in cost of operations. The airport could bring in more passengers than projected and further increase its revenues if new airlines add Sarasota-Bradenton to their routes, which stands as a strong possibility.

New direct flights from Canada

Over the past two years, SRQ has notably picked up more airline service. The Canadian discount airline Westjet is the latest to take the Bradenton-Sarasota stop. It announced recently that it is adding SRQ to its twice-a-week Ontario non-stop flights for in-season passenger services starting December 2015 up to April 2016.

Westjet brings to six the airlines now operating out of SRQ. Early in 2015, Delta Air Lines also added non-stop Saturday seasonal flights between SRQ and New York’s JFK Airport. Similarly, United Airlines has started in-season flights in 2015 between SRQ and Newark Liberty International Airport, its New York gateway hub. With these new entries, SRQ hopes to open more airline connections both locally and internationally.

Bright prospects ahead

Such a rosy expectation may soon prove true with the run-up to the 2017 World Rowing championship that private and government sectors in Bradenton and Sarasota have lobbied so hard to host. This major international competition is set for September 24 to October 1, 2017, at the Nathan Benderson Park. The event is projected to draw over 42,000 rowers, coaches and support staff from more than 70 countries.

As encouraging, initiatives at promoting Sarasota and Manatee as foreign investors’ destination is likewise bearing fruits. Recently, it was announced that eight companies from Spain are committing to locate at the International Trade HUB at Port Manatee. These commitments came following a business development mission to Catalonia, Spain, by a delegation of Manatee County port and economic development officials, just one of several other trade missions to boost the Southwest Florida region’s international posturing.