Nonstop Florida flights coming to Dayton

Twice-weekly flights on budget carrier will begin in April.

Low-cost carrier Allegiant Air is coming to Dayton International Airport next year, starting with nonstop service from the airport to Orlando and nonstop service to Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.

Those flights will be to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, this newspaper has learned. The official announcement will be at the airport today (Thursday) at 10 a.m.

The flights to Orlando begin April 14 and the flights to Tampa begin April 15. Allegiant currently flies out of Cincinnati, its closest airport to Dayton. Their business model is largely flights from U.S. cities to vacation destinations like Florida, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

To keep its ticket prices low, flights don’t include onboard entertainment or frequent flier promotions.

To celebrate the announcement, Allegiant will be offering promotional fares on the routes for as low as $51.

The flights will both operate twice-weekly and will be on MD-80 and Airbus A320 type aircraft. The capacity on the MD-80 is 166 seats, the A319 is 156, and the A320 is 177.

The flights will also be available to book that morning at Allegiant.com.

“We’re pleased to announce our arrival in Dayton with these highly demanded nonstop flights to Florida,” Jude Bricker, Allegiant senior vice president of planning, said in a prepared statement. “We know that Dayton travelers are hungry for low-cost flights to Florida, and we’re excited to enter this market and make more vacations possible for more people.”

The arrival of Allegiant was greeted with enthusiasm by airport officials. The airline helps fill a gap in choices for passengers. In October Southwest Airlines said it would be discontinuing nonstop flights to Florida in April. Frontier Airlines, another low cost carrier, no longer serves Dayton, although it does fly out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

“Allegiant’s decision to begin offering flights out of Dayton International Airport is great news for the region,” Terry Slaybaugh, Director of the Dayton International Airport, said. “We are excited to welcome a new airline into our offerings, and we are even happier that our travelers will now have convenient access to affordable flights directly to popular destinations.”

For now, the two destinations are the only ones Allegiant will be attempting at Dayton International.

“We’re constantly evaluating new service opportunities, but for now we’re going to focus on filling the planes on these two new routes from Dayton,” airline spokesman Brandon Myers said.

Allegiant, which is a part of Allegiant Travel Company, was founded in 1997, going then under the name WestJet Express. Headquartered in the Las Vegas suburb of Enterprise, the airline has 82 aircraft that fly to 109 destinations.

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