The airport is a hub for passenger airlines American Airlines, Executive Airlines under the American Eagle name; cargo airlines, UPS Airlines and FedEx Express; and charter airline Miami Air. It is a focus airport for LAN Airlines and its subsidiaries, both for passengers and cargo operations. Miami International Airport handles passenger and cargo flights to cities throughout the Americas and Europe, as well as the Canary Islands off the African coast, and cargo flights to Asia; it is South Florida's main airport for long-haul international flights.
Miami International Airport is the largest gateway between the United States and Latin America, and is one of the largest aerial hubs in the United States, owing to its proximity to tourist attractions, local economic growth, large local Latin American and European populations, and strategic location to handle connecting traffic between North America, Latin America, and Europe. In the past, it has been a hub for Braniff International Airways, Eastern Air Lines, Air Florida, the original National Airlines, the original Pan Am, United Airlines, and Iberia. Miami International is also the proposed hub of two new start-up airlines, one of which hopes to use the Eastern Airlines name.
In 2010, the airport ranked first in the United States by percentage of international flights and second by volume of international passengers, behind only New York-JFK. In 2010, 35,698,025 passengers traveled through the airport, making the airport the 28th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. The Airport also ranks as the 12th busiest airport in the United States by annual passenger throughput and is the largest airport in the state of Florida, surpassing Orlando by a small margin. The airport also handled more international cargo than any other airport in the United States.
Miami International Airport has direct public transport links to Miami-Dade Transit's Metrobus network; free shuttles are also provided to and from the Miami Airport and Hialeah Market Stations on the Tri-Rail commuter rail line. Both stations are close, within a 5 minute drive from the main terminal. The Miami-Dade Aviation Department is currently constructing the MIA Mover, a link to the airport by people mover, to the upcoming Miami Intermodal Center which already opened its Rental Car Center (RCC) in July 2010 and provides access to car rentals. Soon to follow will be a new airport Metrorail station, a relocated Tri-Rail station, and an Amtrak station located within the Miami Central Station, scheduled to open in late 2011/early 2012. A consolidated shuttle service will run to-and-from the terminals at MIA and the RCC for approximately one year until the MIA Mover begins service. Once the MIA Mover is in service, car rental desks and shuttles will disappear from the airport's arrivals level.
Taxis, shuttle services, limousines, and rental cars are currently available within the airport. Taxis and shuttles provide flat rates to popular destinations within Miami, such as the beaches or the city center.
To/from Metrorail, Downtown and South Beach
Miami-Dade Transit operates the Airport Flyer bus which connects MIA directly to the Metrorail (Miami's heavy-rail system) at Earlington Heights Station, which allows for transfers to Downtown Miami and beyond, and ends in the heart of South Beach on Lincoln Road. The bus operates seven days a week from 6am to 11pm with buses running every 30 minutes between South Beach and MIA. The fare costs $2.35 and takes about 30 minutes to get from MIA to South Beach, and about 10 minutes from MIA to the Metrorail. The Airport Flyer, along with all other MDT buses depart from the Ground Level of Concourse E.
To/from Tri-Rail, Broward and Palm Beach
Tri-Rail, Miami's commuter rail system serves MIA directly at the Miami Airport Station. Tri-Rail connects MIA to Metrorail, northern Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and Palm Beach County up to West Palm Beach. Until September 12, 2011, Tri-Rail operates a shuttle which connects the rail station to MIA at the Ground Level of Concourse E. After September 12, 2011, the MIA Mover train opens, and allows for direct connections from the MIA terminals to the Miami Airport Station and Tri-Rail, with future connections to Amtrak, Metrorail, Greyhound Lines, the Rental Car Center and all other transit type (to be completed in 2012).
To/from Rental Car Center and Miami Central Station
MIA's newly-completed Rental Car Center has all of MIA's rental car companies (17 companies in total) under the same roof. White shuttles labeled 'Rental Car Shuttle' operate all day between the Rental Car Center and MIA's main terminal entrances. After September 12, 2011, the shuttles will be replaced with the MIA Mover train, which allows for directions connections from the MIA terminals to the Rental Car Center and the new Miami Central Station.
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