Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) yesterday (February 13) celebrated its inaugural flight to Orlando area from Austin, Texas.
Since beginning flights from Austin to Las Vegas in November 2013, Allegiant has flown over 40,000 Austin travelers to Las Vegas and back.
The new flights will operate twice weekly between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB).
Contributing Editor Joe Fernandez of Fernandez Imaging was there to cover the inaugural. Here is his report:
Above Photo: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport director, Jim Smith, on the right cuts the ribbon for the inaugural flight with city, chamber of commerce and Allegiant representatives participating.
Allegiant Air began new service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (KAUS) to Orlando-Sanford International Airport (KSFB) on Friday morning, February 13. The airline is the first one to provide service to Sanford International Airport from Austin. At the present, there will be two flights per week. On Mondays, the flight is scheduled to depart Austin at 10:00 AM arriving in Orlando at 1:40 PM. The returning flight departs at 7:45 AM and arrives in Austin at 9:20 AM. On Fridays, the flight to Orlando-Sanford will depart at 7:00 PM arriving at 10:40 PM. Return flights will depart Orlando-Sanford at 4:45 PM arriving in Austin at 6:20 PM. This is the carriers second destination from Austin Texas. Allegiant Air began Austin to Las Vegas flights in 2013.
The inaugural flight celebrations included a live band, plenty of cake, and gifts for all the passengers. Several key officials also helped in the ribbon cutting ceremonies at the terminal before boarding the plane. “More service to a populated area such as Orlando, is great news for Central Texas, giving more choices for passengers to fly to Austin”, said Jim Smith, Director of Austin-Bergsrtrom International Airport. “Allegiant has been successful from day one in Austin achieving good customer response on its route to Las Vegas”.
Allegiant Air was founded in 1997 under the name WestJet Express in Fresno, California and is now based in Nevada. The airline currently operates McDonnell Douglas MD-80, Boeing 757-200, and Airbus A319/A320 airliners. With well over 90 destinations as of 2014, Allegiant primarilly serves leisure travelers with flights to warmer destinations such as Las Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix. It also has private charter operations.
Orlando-Sanford International Airport is located within a short drive north of the downtown area. The airport is dedicated more toward vacationing public and British / European charter airlines and is considered a good alternative to the larger Orlando International Airport. Orlando Florida is a famous world wide resort destination with a number of large theme parks, shopping areas, restaurants, and attractions for all ages to enjoy.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is the airport of choice for all of Central Texas. With over 10.7 million passengers in 2014, the airport continues to grow and provide more flight options. Apart from the new Allegiant route to Orlando, new destinations are coming soon such as Air Canada to Toronto in May, American Airlines to Miami in March, Frontier Airlines to Atlanta in March, Branson Air Express to Branson Missouri in May, and Southwest Airlines to Saint Louis Missouri and Santa Ana (Orange County) California in June.
Above Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (marketed as the MD-82) N415NV (msn 49909) lifts off from Austin bound for Sanford.
In other news, the company also launched twice-weekly service yesterday from Richmond, Virginia to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in the Tampa Bay area.
Additionally the ultra low-fare airline also started twice-weekly Syracuse, New York-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights yesterday.
On Thursday, February 12, the company has commenced its first service to Jacksonville, Florida from Cincinnati and from Pittsburgh on the next day.
Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: