Allegiant launches new flights from Pinellas County - WFLA News Channel 8

Allegiant launches new flights from Pinellas County

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Allegiant Airline is bringing new flights to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

The low-cost carrier is adding 6 new cities, bringing the total to 31 non-stop destinations from the small community airport.

"This could translate into the neighborhood of 150,000 new passengers," said Noah Lagos, St. Pete-Clearwater Airport Director.

The new cities are Columbus, Ohio, Fargo, North Dakota, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Elmira, Syracuse, and Stewart, New York. The Stewart, NY destination is especially significant, according to Lagos.

"This is big for us because typically the Allegiant model is to serve underserved smaller cities with low frequencies per week," said Lagos.

Allegiant started flying out of the St. Pete-Clearwater Airport in 2006 with 12 destinations.These new additions will bring the total to 31 cities of the 34 served from the airport.

Passenger traffic at the airport is already up 15% overall for the first 6 months of this year compared to last year The biggest boost has come in the summer months, which was traditionally the slow season, said Lagos.

Compared to the same month last year, the airport saw an increase of 28% in May, 27% in June, and 27% in July.

"It really shows Tampa-St Pete, particularly Pinellas, has evolved into a year round destination and not just a seasonal destination," said Lagos.  He said local travelers flying out of town also account for the increase in the summer months.

Most of Allegiants flights are restricted to certain days of the week, and passengers pay for carry-on bags after the first personal item.

That's not a problem for Mary Hellard, who flies Allegiant regularly to visit her sister.

"I've done this several times. It's great, I've never had any complaints," said Hellard.

The new flights begin October 31st, and will phase in throughout the month of November.  Allegiant is also offering discounted fares to promote the new destinations.

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