|Published:||Jul 30, 2013 5:01 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 30, 2013 5:11 PM EDT|
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Air travel in and out of the Punta Gorda Airport is going to get more convenient.
Tuesday, leaders announced Allegiant Air will be adding eight more non-stop flights. Allegiant officials say these eight new flights will bring in about a million passengers every year.
The routes include Allentown, PA, Ashville, NC, Bangor, ME, and Cedar Rapids, IA to name a few. Leaders say this means big business for not just the airport, but Southwest Florida in general.
A change of signs is in order as Allegiant Air expands its non stop flight options by eight. So come this holiday season, passengers will a total of 19 destinations to choose from.
It's a big economic and tourism boost for the area.
"Eight new destinations and that means eight new population bases to expose to the beauty and the nature that is the SWFL gulf coast," says Lorah Steiner, Tourism Director for Charlotte County.
Allegiant's Senior VP of Planning, Jude Bricker says these additional flights will bring in about a million passengers every year.
They are also adding two more planes and about 100 jobs. He says Punta Gorda's Airport was an easy choice for them to expand.
"It has done some of our best flying profitability wise... a lot of people travel because they have moved to Florida and have friends and family in the Northwest and in the Northeast so we originate a lot of traffic from the area," he says.
And with more non-stop flight options, fliers are just as excited.
"I think that's wonderful... especially with small children, we didn't have to worry about where our bags were going to be we knew they were going straight there," says Michelle Hope.
Charlotte County tourism leaders say they're working with the Economic Development Authority to figure out ways to market Charlotte County in those new cities.
They want travelers to know what attractions are right here when they step off the plane.