BANGOR, Maine — Allegiant Air, which offers several flights from Bangor International Airport, announced a new route Tuesday between Bangor and Punta Gorda Airport in Florida. The airport is halfway between Ft. Myers and Sarasota.
“We are pleased to add the beaches of Southwest Florida as another affordable, convenient destination option for Bangor residents,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President in a press release Tuesday.
Like Allegiant’s current direct flights to Tampa and Orlando, flights to Punta Gorda will run twice per week, BIA director Tony Caruso said during a Tuesday morning press conference. The airline previously offered direct flights to Fort Lauderdale, but canceled that route in early 2012.
Caruso said the “market has reacted very well” to Allegiant flights.
Allegiant has been part of the growth of Bangor International Airport in recent years, making its first flights in 2007 to Orlando and later adding routes to Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla.
The airline is offering a promotional rate of $125 for one-way flights on the route, according to Allegiant officials. The flights must be booked before Aug. 6, for travel by Feb. 11, 2014. The route starts Oct. 30, according to Caruso.
Caruso said he expects the route to be popular among people vacationing in southwestern Florida, as well as Red Sox fans heading to Fort Myers for spring training games.
“As a baseball fan myself, I’m sure I’ll be using that flight,” Caruso said.
The airport also celebrated the arrival of the first Allegiant Airbus flight into Bangor on Tuesday. The flight was greeted with a water cannon salute, in which firetrucks aimed arcs of water over the plane, a traditional airport celebration during the inaugural flight of an airline or aircraft type. It also can serve as recognition of a longtime pilot on his last flight before retirement. Passengers from Florida deplaned before Bangor passengers boarded and headed to the Sunshine State.
Allegiant is beginning to introduce the 177-seat Airbuses to its fleet of mostly MD-80 jets, which seat 150 passengers, according to officials.