PORTLAND – Southwest Airlines said Monday that it will add a nonstop flight between Portland and Orlando on Saturdays starting in March. It will be the 13th nonstop flight from Portland.

In a news release, Southwest described the Orlando flight as a “seasonal route” beginning March 8.

Southwest officials were not immediately available to say how long the flight will be offered.

The Portland International Jetport previously had a nonstop flight to Orlando on AirTran. That flight ended in April 2012. AirTran merged with Southwest in May 2011.

Orlando is the third-most-popular destination for passengers flying out of Portland, after the Washington, D.C., area and the New York City area, said airport Director Paul Bradbury.

“We’re very excited. We’ve been urging Southwest to add some nonstop capacity,” Bradbury said.

The jetport has had a slight increase in passenger traffic. The number of passengers flying in and out in the first half of this year, 747,224, was up 1.4 percent from the same period last year, when there were 736,830 passengers.

Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at [email protected]

Correcttion: This story was updated at 8:38 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27 to clarify the number of nonstop flights out of Portland International Jetport.

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