Vision Airlines to offer low-fare service at McGhee Tyson

Knoxville is in line to get another low-fare air carrier as Vision Airlines announced Tuesday that it will begin service in March between Knoxville and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Starting March 25, the Atlanta-based airline will offer flights three days a week from McGhee Tyson Airport to Northwest Florida Regional Airport, which serves Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Okaloosa Island and other areas of Florida’s Emerald Coast.

“This part of the Florida panhandle is an extremely popular destination for our community, and this new service is a welcome addition to McGhee Tyson Airport,” Kirk Huddleston, chairman of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority’s Board of Directors, said in a prepared statement. The Airport Authority operates McGhee Tyson and Downtown Island airports.

The flights will leave McGhee Tyson Airport at 2:30 p.m. each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, using a 148-seat Boeing 737-400 airliner. Vision Airlines will join other carriers at McGhee Tyson offering low-fare service to Florida destinations, including Allegiant Air, AirTran Airways and American Eagle Airlines.

The introduction of service in Knoxville is part of an effort by Vision Airlines to provide 20 U.S. cities with low-fare access to Northwest Florida, David Meers, chief operating officer for the airline, said in a prepared statement.

“It is our desire to continue to grow our service and route structure, and offer tremendous value to leisure travelers,” he said in a press statement.

Danni Varlan, president of East Tennesseans for Airfare Competition, said she is glad to hear about the new Vision Airlines service. Her organization is more interested in promoting low-fare business travel, but adding a new airline and new flights to McGhee Tyson Airport is good for the community, she said.

“It’s great anytime you are adding low-fare service, and for anyone wanting to go to the Destin area, this will be very convenient,” she said.

Vision Airlines began operations in 1994 providing aerial tours of the Grand Canyon. It has grown to become an internationally recognized charter airline operating a fleet of Boeing 767, Boeing 737 and Dornier 328 aircraft.

More information may be found and flights may be booked at

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