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Local News

Allegiant Air Lands At Destin-Ft. Walton Beach Airport

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Danielle Freeman
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A new partnership between the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and Allegiant Air will now provide nonstop flights from Cincinnati and St. Louis to VPS. The new seasonal flights will run twice a week and are estimated to bring more than 12,000 additional visitors each year to the Destin/Ft. Walton Beach area.

“We closed out Okaloosa County’s centennial year with a huge win that will produce immediate widespread economic impacts now and continue to compound year over year.”

Okaloosa County Airports Interim Airport Director, Tracy Stage, says he’s thrilled about the new partnership and the economic boost it will provide for the region.

“The tourism market and our destination will see the addition of thousands of families for extended stays and provide our communities the ability to fly direct to northern cities cheaper than you can possibly imagine.”

The new partnership is likely to generate close to $3.5 million annually in total visitor spending. County Commission Chairman Kelly Windes says it’s a great day for Okaloosa County, “The economic benefits that the new air service brings to our community is tremendous, by way of convenience, flexibility, access, and economy. Our citizens, our tourists, our business community should enjoy this new partnership. We hope it works as well as we think it will for all parties.”

Thayne Klingler, of Allegiant Air, says the seasonal nonstop service to the Destin-Ft. Walton Beach airport from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) will begin May 20th and end Sept. 5th.  Service to St. Louis (BLV) begins June 2nd and ends Sept. 4th.

“However you can expect to see low fares even beyond the introductory fares. That’s what we’re known for. And we expected that this new service will stimulate new travelers and new demand. And trying to reach out further than your traditional drive markets and stimulating new visitors via air.”

Klingler says travelers expect low air fares and it’s extremely exciting to announce that Destin will be the new focus city on their route map, “Allegiant air is a low cost leisure carrier. We serve over a hundred airports and communities across the country. Our service is point-to-point. Everything is nonstop. There are no one stops, so it’s convenient. “

Allegiant Air, headquartered in Las Vegas, was founded in 1997 and is a subsidiary of the Allegiant Travel Company. Allegiant passengers are expected to fly on the Airbus A320 for local flights.

Several community organizations had a hand in the creating the joint venture including the Board of Okaloosa County Commissioners led by last year’s Chairman Nathan Boyles, the Tourist Development Council, and the Economic Development Council.

Okaloosa County Commission Vice Chair Carolyn Ketche, who serves as the liaison to the airport commissioner and the TDC, says one of the board’s main priorities is economic development and this new partnership is a huge win for the county.

“New air service equates to millions in economic impacts. And we look forward to a successful beginning of our newest carrier and opening our doors to thousands of families to enjoy the lovely area that we get to call home.”

Once again, Interim Airport Director Tracy Stage, “Allegiant’s model is not like other airlines. They start out in their destination markets by offering flights to a couple of cities. And, if the service is well utilized and successful, which we know it will be, they incrementally add new cities year over year. It is the community that determines the air service the airport has.  Use it and it will succeed and grow.”

Destination and ticket information are available at AllegiantAir.com.