From 2022, TUI UK will move its flights to Orlando from Sanford airport (SFB) to Orlando Melbourne (MLB).
This comes as an interesting move, as Melbourne is around an hours drive from the theme parks of Orlando. It is however much nearer to the coast, therefore offering better access to the beaches. The airport is also closer to Port Canaveral than both Sanford and Orlando International… although who goes to Orlando to jump on a cruise?! Having said that, it is the worlds most popular cruise port (according to their website).
Currently, TUI serves Orlando from the following UK departure points:
- Birmingham (BHX)
- Bristol (BRS)
- Doncaster/Sheffield (DSA)
- Edinburgh (EDI)
- Glasgow (GLA)
- London Gatwick (LGW)
- Manchester (MAN)
- Newcastle upon Tyne (NCL)
Initially, all airlines used Orlando International. However, in the mid-90’s, most charter airlines moved to Orlando Sanford to the North. Sanford offered much reduced landing fees and offered a new terminal that was able to handle larger aircraft.
However, the airlines slowly started moving back to Orlando International. Starting with Thomas Cook in 2014, these days TUI is the only overseas carrier to use Sanford year round. So their move to Melbourne will come as a blow to Sanford.
Allegiant Air has a major operation at Sanford and Suriname Airways offers seasonal flights, but other than that there are no other commercial services.
Orlando Melbourne Airport
First of all, where is MLB? It’s the furthest marker to the South on the map below. Orlando International is located in the centre, nearest to Orlando itself. Where as Sanford is the marker furthest to the North. As you can see, MLB is the furthest away from Orlando.
Currently, MLB only serves a handful of flights. American Eagle offers flights to Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington. Delta serves Atlanta.
Before TUI launches flights to the airport, the terminal will undergo a major investment. The tour operator has stated the terminal extension will include “unique concessions, innovative passenger amenities and many other family-friendly features that will allow customers to be entertained.”
MLB claims it will be “practically the newest and most modern airport in Florida” once all the investments in the airport are complete.
MLB has been voted the most scenic approach in the USA according to PrivateFly.com