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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Getting Some Air

The first Evansville-to-Tampa flight takes off

Evansville Regional Airport’s new bi-weekly, nonstop flight to the Tampa, Florida, area is providing area travelers with another low-cost connection to the Sunshine State.

The back-and-forth service is scheduled for Thursdays and Sundays, and Allegiant Air is offering one-way fares as low as $41 to commemorate the launch.

Allegiant’s first flight from EVV to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, about 18 miles from Tampa, took off June 13 amid a tropical backdrop in the terminal. The 156-passenger jet was full, EVV officials say.

Allegiant already flies local travelers to two other Florida destinations – Orlando Sanford International Airport three times a week and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport twice weekly.

Adding the Tampa region to that existing Florida service is “a true testament to Allegiant’s commitment to EVV and our region’s travelers,” says Leslie Fella, EVV director of marketing and air service.

“It’s obvious that this flight, this airline, this connection, is very important to the people of this region,” Goebel said shortly before the plane took off.

Photo courtesy of Evansville Regional Airport

Evansville Mayor Stephanie Terry said having new vacation options such as Allegiant’s low-cost flights to the Tampa area “greatly enhance the quality of life for our residents.”

In a prepared statement, Drew Wells, chief revenue officer with Allegiant, said the addition of another Florida connection in Evansville follows “great travel demand.”

“Florida continues to prove itself as a popular vacation destination for leisure travelers, and we expect customers will enjoy our unique brand of travel: all nonstop flights without the hassle of layovers or connections,” Wells said.

After a rapid decline in usage and service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EVV has gradually restored and added routes.

Breeze Airways, another low-cost carrier, started a bi-weekly connection between Evansville and Orlando International Airport in February, and on Sept. 4, twice-daily flights to and from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, via American Air Lines will resume.

EVV maintains its daily service to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dallas, Texas, via American Airlines, and Atlanta, Georgia, via Delta Airlines.

Speakers at the celebration of Allegiant’s debut flight from Evansville to Tampa area said keeping service like that alive requires usage of the local airport.

Such support is “critical to the success of this new route and others,” Terry said.

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