Allegiant Air announces non-stop flights to Southwest Fla.

East Tennessee residents will soon have a new excuse to head to the sun and white sand beaches of Florida as Allegiant Air recently announced low-cost, nonstop flights to the Southwest Florida Coast from McGhee Tyson Airport.

The low-fare carrier will celebrate the convenient new service to Charlotte County Airport, located midway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Fla., with introductory fares as low as $69 each way. Flights to the popular Florida destination will start March 6, 2009.

“We are extremely pleased to again expand the Allegiant brand of low-fare, nonstop jet service to the Knoxville community,” Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., president, CEO and Chairman for Allegiant, said. “Knoxville was selected as one of our first airports to receive this new service based on our experience and success within the market. This is an exciting new addition for our airline and our customers as we launch yet another way to get to the fun and sun of Florida and the only nonstop service between Knoxville and the Southwest Florida Coast.”

In today’s economic climate, Allegiant Air’s decision to select McGhee Tyson Airport as only one of two airports in the country to receive their new service to Southwest Florida is exciting, Richard W. Krieg, chairman of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority’s Board of Commissioners said. “Our community has rallied behind Allegiant Air’s low fare service and we know they will continue that support with this new service to the Southwest Florida Coast.”

The airline will launch the new scheduled service from McGhee Tyson Airport to Charlotte County Airport with two flights weekly. With service Monday and Friday, flights will depart Knoxville at 4:30 p.m. arriving in Charlotte County Airport at 6:20 p.m. Flights leaving Charlotte County Airport will depart at 7 p.m. arriving in Knoxville at 8:50 p.m. (all flight times are local.)

Allegiant Air began low-cost, nonstop service from Knoxville with flights to the Tampa Bay area which began on Dec. 13, 2006. Flights to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. started on Nov. 15, 2007 and service to Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 2, 2007.

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