Allegiant announces new flight

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Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport officials on Tuesday officially added a fourth non-stop flight from the Vienna airport to Punta Gorda, Fla.

Officials said they added the southwest Florida destination after considering Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.

The Allegiant Airlines flights start Oct. 31 and will run about $90. Officials said there will be two flights per week on their 160-seat airplane.

Officials said occupancy on their three other non-stop flight destinations— Orlando, Fla., Tampa Bay, Fla. and Myrtle Beach— have risen to about 94 percent. Director of Aviation Dan Dickten said he expects the same success with the Punta Gorda flights.

“We’ve been waiting on this destination now for two years,” said Dickten. “A lot of ties in this community to southwest Florida. This really fits the ticket.”

Airport officials said they are continuing to try to bring a regular Allegiant flight from the airport to Las Vegas. They said they are also talking with two network carriers, one of which would be to bring daily service to catch a flight to Chicago to anywhere else in the country.

June was Allegiant’s best month since 1994. Officials said the airport expects to have 85,000 customers by the end of the year and eclipse 100,000 by the end of 2014. The last time the airport had that amount of success was when they had 98,000 customers in 1998, officials said.

Airport officials said nearly all seats are filled on flights leaving the Youngstown airport to three destinations Allegiant already services, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Myrtle Beach. June was the carrier’s best month at the airport since 1994.

After Tuesday’s announcement, Allegiant immediately sold about 70 tickets to the new destination. Customers said they were excited at the new destination.

“We are kind of excited about it because we have a timeshare in Fort Meyers so we try and do down there every year and either flying from Pittsburgh or Cleveland gets to be pretty expensive so this sounds like a really good deal,” said Niles resident Dan Roberts.

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