FLINT — Bishop International Airport officials announced at a press conference on Thursday that Allegiant Air is bringing ultra-low-cost travel and vacation packages here with a new, nonstop service to Florida beginning in April.
The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, is offering one-way fares to Florida for as low as $45.
Seats are limited for one-way fares which are not available for all flights and must be purchased by Nov. 23, 2015 for travel by Aug. 17, 2016. The price includes taxes and fees but is subject to other surcharges and restrictions. Visit www.Allegiant.com for details.
The new flight destinations are:
°Tampa / St. Pete, Fla. via St. Pete- Clearwater International Airport (PIE) – beginning April 13, 2016.
°Orlando / Sanford, Fla. via Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) – beginning April 14, 2016.
The nonstop flights will operate twice weekly. Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found on the Allegiant web site.
“We’re pleased to announce that eastern Michigan travelers now have new options for low-cost, nonstop travel to Florida,” said Jude Bricker, Allegiant senior vice president of planning. “We’re confident that local travelers will take advantage of these flights, and we look forward to making more vacations possible this spring.”
Allegiant has experienced great success in the Michigan market and expects that to continue at Flint Bishop, said Eric Fletcher, manager airports for Allegiant.
The planes will seat up to 177 passengers.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson joined county commissioners and airport officials for the press conference.
“We couldn’t be more excited that our region’s favorite Florida destinations are going to be served nonstop by Allegiant,” said Craig Williams, Bishop airport director.
“There has always been a strong demand for easy, affordable flights to the Sunshine State, and this announcement ensures that we will be able to continue to offer our passengers easy access to some of the best beaches and tourist attractions the area has to offer.”
Patterson also applauded the announcement and recalled a meeting about 20 years ago when Oakland County approached Bishop officials about joining forces. They recognized that Bishop held advantages over flying out of Detroit, he said.
At that time, Bishop only had about three flight gates. Now it has 11. Patterson credits Oakland County travelers with helping to boost Bishop’s passenger counts from about 250,000 a year at that time to more than a million.
Mayor Weaver said she was “thrilled to welcome a key player in leisure travel” to Flint and that the arrival of Allegiant means that five major airlines will now be serving Flint.
“This is a big deal for us,” she said. “Allegiant Air will have a significant impact on Flint’s economy because strong air service is critical to the overall health of our community.”
Jamie Curtis, chairman of the county Board of Commissioners called Bishop a “jewel’’ in the region. Allegiant will strengthen commercial aviation and make the county more attractive to new residents and business owners looking to relocate, he said.