Falls airport goes international with flights

-- April 07--NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara Falls International Airport will become international again, with the announcement Thursday of new non-stop service to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Direct Air, an air service provider operating...


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April 07--NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara Falls International Airport will become international again, with the announcement Thursday of new non-stop service to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

Direct Air, an air service provider operating at the Falls airport, will now offer three flights a week to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Nassau, Bahamas. The flights will depart and return on Friday, Saturday, and Monday beginning Nov. 17.

The airline currently has flights from the Falls to Myrtle Beach, Punta Gorda/Fort Myers and West Palm Beach/Melbourne, Fla. Last week, the company announced it would add service to Orlando-Sanford and Lakeland, Fla., beginning on June 24.

"As we seek to develop secondary USA markets to the islands of the Bahamas, we welcome the opportunity to work with a niche carrier like Direct Air and look forward to building year-round services from these new markets to Nassau/ Paradise Island," said David Johnson, director-general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

Direct Air President Ed Warneck called the expanding service another opportunity to increase his company's connections to the Falls.

"The partners of Direct Air all agree that we have been and will continue to be a vital presence in the Niagara Falls area," he said.

The company began service from the Falls airport in 2007 and, since that time, has flown over 200,000 passengers from the Cataract City.

"Flights to date have averaged a load factor of 85 percent to and from Niagara Falls, and that number continues to increase," Warneck said. "It is Direct Air's goal to grow the Niagara Falls market through increased frequency and adding new destinations as we have done in our other markets."

Direct Air flights are public charters operated on Boeing 737-400, 150 passenger jet aircraft by Sky King Airlines and on Boeing 737-800 series jet aircraft operated by Vision Airways with 168 all-coach seating.

The air service provider will fly its one-millionth passenger in 2011.

"This marks Direct Air's fourth year of service from Niagara Falls International Airport." said Kay Ellison, Managing Partner of Direct Air. "The Niagara Falls-Buffalo-Toronto area has been incredibly receptive toward Direct Air's flight program from the beginning, and we have always sought strategic opportunities to expand our presence here to new markets."

Ellison said the new flights to Florida and the Caribbean are part of those efforts.

"We believe that offering customers in this area new nonstop flight service and low fares to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico will help further establish us as the region's carrier of choice," Ellison said.

The company is offering a $99 promotional fare to Nassau and San Juan. Details on the offer can be found at www.visitdirectair.com or by calling Direct Air's reservations department at 1-877-432-3473.

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