Published: Dec 05, 2012 10:42 PM EST

Rockford, IL– At a press conference held today, the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) announced that Allegiant Travel Company will begin non-stop jet service between Rockford and the Ft. Myers area via the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) beginning Feb. 14, 2013.

“We are pleased to bring a new affordable and convenient travel option for Rockford residents,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President. “We are confident the community will appreciate the value of flying nonstop to southwest Florida and the value of bundling their air, hotel and car rental reservation together.”

“Once again Allegiant is affirming the Chicago Rockford International Airport's importance and strength to the Allegiant system.  RFD is excited and honored that Allegiant will now be flying to southwest Florida to and from RFD,” said RFD Director Mike Dunn. “This route has historically been one of our airport's strongest, most successful and premier routes.”

Passengers from all over the region will now have non-stop connectivity to popular vacation destinations like Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, Venice, Naples and Marco Island.

“We're very appreciative to Allegiant for its seven great years of service to our community and to our region. We look forward to our continued partnership and growth with Allegiant in bringing low cost high value vacation opportunities to RFD,” added Dunn.

Allegiant will utilize an MD-80 aircraft. The semi-weekly flights will be Thursday and Sunday beginning on February 14. Flights are currently on sale for the upcoming spring break travel season at www.allegiantair.com.