PUNTA GORDA — Allegiant Travel Company announced 24 new nonstop routes Tuesday, 13 of which involve Southwest Florida airports.
The routes are a testament to the area's growth, according to Max Barrus, the director of planning for Allegiant.
The 13 routes were chosen through traditional methods from available data and existing traffic, Barrus said, and were not chosen solely for Sunseeker Resorts in Charlotte Harbor. However, the resort, which is anticipated to complete construction in Spring 2021, "will be a draw for the region," Barrus said.
Allegiant announced five new nonstop routes to Punta Gorda Airport. The routes are from Charleston, S.C.; Elmira, N.Y.; Memphis, Tenn.; Norfolk, Va. and Sioux Falls, S.D.
To celebrate, the company is offering one-way fares for the new routes as low as $49. Routes begin as early as Nov. 13.
“We’re thrilled to announce such a major expansion in southwest Florida,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant vice president of planning and revenue. “This beautiful area is one of the most sought after Allegiant destinations, and now even more travelers can enjoy all it has to offer.”
These routes will operate twice weekly and will bring nearly 29,000 passengers to the area a year, the company stated Tuesday.
It's possible for the company to announce additional routes later in the year, Barrus said.
"We're always excited for growth," said PGD CEO James Parish. As someone who served in the Navy for eight years, Parish is most excited to visit Norfolk, Va.
Allegiant started service at PGD in 2009 with only two routes: one to Knoxville, Tenn. and the other to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina. Now, the company has 49 routes in and out of the airport, the most it has ever had, Miller said.
Though Allegiant is currently the only commercial airline at PGD, the airport's COO Ron Mallard and CEO James Parish periodically meet with other airlines, according to airport spokesperson Kaley Miller.
The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) also has one year-round route to Knoxville, Tenn. and seven new seasonal routes to St. Louis, Mo.; Des Moines, Iowa; Rockford, Ill.; Flint, Mich.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Louisville, Ky. and South Bend, Ind.
“We are very pleased with the continued success and expansion of Allegiant at SRQ,” said SRQ president and CEO Rick Piccolo. “With this new announcement, Allegiant will now serve 20 nonstop routes from SRQ, providing our community and visitors convenient choices and low fares.”
SRQ routes start as early as Nov. 15. One-way fares begin at $59.
The Sarasota airport currently has eight carriers with 37 nonstop destinations, according to SRQ's COO Mark Stuckey.
To get the low fare deals, flights must be purchased by Aug. 14 for travel by May 12, 2020.