Breeze Airways announced it's adding nonstop seasonal flights from Long Island...

Breeze Airways announced it's adding nonstop seasonal flights from Long Island MacArthur Airport to Vero Beach, Florida, starting in December. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Breeze Airways is adding nonstop flights from Long Island MacArthur Airport to Vero Beach, Florida, starting in late December, the airline announced Tuesday.

The seasonal roundtrip flights will run twice-weekly on Thursdays and Sundays Dec. 21 through April 28 and return on a yearly basis, with the potential for more flights if the route proves popular, said Jim Smith, co-founder and a vice president at Breeze Airways. 

The route is the sixth offered by Breeze Airways out of MacArthur and the first to the Florida city out of the Ronkonkoma airport.

It will join inaugural nonstop flights to Richmond, Virginia, and Pittsburgh, as well as flights introduced this summer to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and Portland, Maine.

The low-cost carrier, which began flying out of the Islip Town-owned airport nearly two years ago, added flights to Jacksonville, Florida, in December.

The Salt Lake City-based airline was launched by JetBlue founder David Neeleman in 2018, with service beginning in 2021.

"Vero is an incredible destination," said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter, adding that the city is close to other areas in Florida that are popular with Long Islanders. 

One-way flights to Vero Beach will start at $69, so long as they're booked by Oct. 9, Smith said. 

A Breeze Airways spokesman said customers expressed "a lot of interest" in flying to Vero Beach out of MacArthur after the route was added to a Westchester airport. 

The airline is one of three that flies out of the Islip airport, along with Frontier and Southwest Airlines. American Airlines dropped flights out of MacArthur last September due to pilot shortages.

The airport serves 1.2 million passengers annually, officials said.

Millions of dollars have been poured into renovations at the airport in recent years, including construction that is underway on $26 million in improvements and a new $8.4 million ground transportation center unveiled in March 2022.

More improvements could be in its future as the Town of Islip and Suffolk County weigh the $2.8 billion Midway Crossing project, which includes plans for a new terminal at MacArthur and connection to the Ronkonkoma LIRR station.

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