MIAMI — Sunday, Miami International Airport celebrated one of the biggest days in its history as MIA welcomed in a dizzying succession of events the arrival of new carriers, new routes and a new Airbus A380 service. The lineup was highlighted by Turkish Airlines’ inaugural Istanbul service, British Airways’ introduction of one of its double daily London Heathrow flights aboard the Airbus A380, and the launch of a daily Las Vegas route by Frontier Airlines.

Additionally, on October 25, Lufthansa introduced a seasonal flight to Munich, Swiss International Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic increased their frequencies, and Air France kicked off a seasonal A380 flight to Paris as well. This brings three daily A380s to Miami International Airport, a feat only shared by a few other US airports. Just one week before, Austrian joined the list of airlines serving Miami, with a 5 day a week service to Vienna.


Turkish Airlines’ inaugural flight marked the beginning of the Sunday festivities at Miami with the arrival of Flight 77 from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. The 13-hour flight will be operated by a 337-passenger Boeing 777-300ER, leaving Istanbul in the early afternoon and returning from Miami in the evening. The cabin configuration of the aircraft is 28 business class seats, 63 in premium economy and 246 in economy class.


The four-star carrier adds Miami to its network as the 12th destination in the Americas and its 8th in the United States. “We’re thrilled to name Miami as the newest gateway in the U.S. and proud to serve to one of the most influential tourism centers in the world. Our global network and award-winning service will make international travel easier and more convenient for both business and leisure travelers in this area.” said Turkish Airlines’ Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmuştur in a mailed statement. Following Qatar, Turkish provides MIA’s second link to Eurasia and the Middle East.

The inaugural British Airways A380 service to Miami was also cause for celebration. With a long-standing relationship of four decades, British Airways has always considered Miami to be one of its premium destinations and since then its flagships, including the Concorde, became a regular at Miami.


The event was marked with a gate-side party for passengers on the outbound Miami-London flight. Aviation Director Emilio González, BA Senior Vice President for North America and Asia Pacific Steve Clark, and British Vice Consul General in Miami Mark Smithson addressed the assembled travelers and joined them for refreshments before the London-bound superjumbo departed. British Airways will continue to operate two daily Miami-London flights, one served with a Boeing 747-400 and the Airbus A380 handling the other.

“We have been flying between Miami and London for more than 40 years and this week we are reinforcing our commitment by introducing an incredible new aircraft onto the route,” said Simon Brooks, SVP Americas for British Airways.


And last, but not least, Miami and Frontier Airlines welcomed passengers on the ultra-low-cost carrier’s inaugural Miami-Las Vegas flight with a breakfast buffet and a casino-themed cake, as well as showgirls, a cash-grab machine for a few lucky passengers, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring airport and airline executives. The new service will be served by 138-seat Airbus A319, with morning daily departures to Las Vegas and early morning arrivals to Miami.

“If there’s a clear illustration of all of the good things that are happening at MIA, this phenomenal day was it,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Most airports don’t see this kind of air service development in a year or even several years, and MIA did it all in a single day. Congratulations to our entire Aviation team for their hard work.”