Direct From Raleigh

In Buzz, February 2021 by Raleigh MagazineLeave a Comment

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Flights from RDU are on the up and up.

Jet-setting around the world was clearly not in the cards for 2020, but flights are finally starting to take off again at Raleigh–Durham International Airport—so those travel dream boards you built when you hit the bottom of Netflix could actually materialize, which is pretty fly.

Over the recent holidays, and more specifically, the week of Dec. 20 to 27, TSA screened 52,812 departing passengers from RDU: a 14% increase over the previous week—but, for perspective, still down 63.5% from the same week in 2019. That said, it was RDU’s highest passenger count since mid-March—when the pandemic hit North Carolina and airlines were grounded to a halt.

As airlines saw the upward trend, many began resuming or adding nonstop flights to various destinations. “RDU is extremely fortunate to add new destinations at a time when airports continue to lose airlines service,” says Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “We are optimistic that passengers will support the new routes by traveling to these warm-weather destinations during the winter months.”

It’s an understatement to say we could all seriously use a vacation right about now. With so many more direct flights available at RDU, there’s no better time than now to plan a getaway to one of these nonstop destinations once it’s safe to do again. Bon voyage!


In December, American Airlines brought back nonstop service to Cancun, and, in January, to DC (Reagan International). Direct flights to LA are scheduled to resume in March, with pond-jumping direct flights to London slated to return in late spring. 

Well-known for its Boston and New York markets, JetBlue launched five new nonstop destinations in the fall: including Fort Myers, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; LA (the airline’s first West Coast-bound flight from RDU); Cancun, Mexico; and Montego Bay, Jamaica—the latter two serving as RDU’s first nonstop international takeoffs since the pandemic began. This month the airline will add daily service to Austin, Jacksonville, Newark, Orlando and Tampa, and, in March, Las Vegas and San Francisco. 

Delta Air Lines will resume direct flights to Austin and Jacksonville on Feb. 11, and Las Vegas (daily) on March 2 and plans to resume its nonstop flight to Paris this spring.

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